MCFB Working For You
MCFB continues to participate in meetings of the Ukiah Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency and will work to reiterate the importance of keeping the groundwater sustainability plan (GSP) development process as efficient as possible.
With cannabis permitting moving forward at both the local and state level, MCFB continues to participate in a number of meetings to reiterate concerns regarding regulation equality and land use planning.
Attended the Eel Russian River Commission (ERRC) meeting in Eureka on March 29th along with additional Farm Bureau members from Mendocino, Sonoma, Lake and Humboldt Counties to listen to the various presentations on the Potter Valley Project. The next ERRC meeting will be held in Lake County on May 24th and those interested in the Project are encouraged to attend. More information and agendas for the ERRC meetings can be found here:
As part of the Mendocino County Agriculture and Business Coalition, MCFB helped to organize an event in February to provide updates to our members on the anticipated top issues from the county and the four incorporated cities for 2019.
MCFB held various trainings and seminars on topics including: pesticide safety, respirator fit testing, and labor law updates.
MCFB staff and members have continued to work with local and state air quality officials to ensure that Mendocino County is represented in the application process for FARMER program funding to assist those in agriculture with partial replacement costs for stationary diesel engines/equipment, some on road equipment, processing equipment and other categories. This diligence has brought $258,465 to Mendocino County farmers in the first round of FARMER money allocation for diesel pump replacements. The second round of funding allocation is expected to be announced May 1st.
Comments were submitted regarding SB 356 on MCFB’s concerns related to the proposal to transition the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) district as the successor to the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA) right of way from the county line north to Willits. General concerns include how Mendocino County would be represented on the SMART board, the ability of SMART to use eminent domain, the application of rail crossing fees and unknown impacts to private property owners.
The federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is starting to move forward with implementation and enforcement through the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Through the efforts of the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG), wine grapes have a continued exemption for FSMA in 2019 since wine grapes are a processed commodity. A number of our local wine grape producers received letters in February related to FSMA compliance information. MCFB worked with CAWG to receive clarification from CDFA that wine grape producers did not have to fill out all of the information on the received form and that the exemption from FSMA coverage for wine grapes was indeed in effect.
On February 14, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) published for public comment a proposed rule revising the scope of waters federally regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The 2019 Proposed Rule seeks to respect the constitutional and statutory limits of federal government to regulate navigable water under the CWA and gives states and tribes more flexibility to determine how best to manage waters within their borders. Additionally, the 2019 Proposed Rule would eliminate the time-consuming and uncertain process of determining whether a water has a significant nexus to a traditional navigable water, interstate water, or territorial sea. MCFB sent out the Farm Team alerts from CFBF and AFBF on this issue so that our members could comment on the 2019 Proposed Rule by the deadline of April 15, 2019.
I saved 25% on a battery I purchased using the Farm Bureau discount. With all the parts needed to maintain my equipment, my membership will be paid for in no time!
Devon and her team help me stay informed. It is important to have timely influence over the numerous regulatory issues that impact agriculture. The influence our organization has is invaluable; well worth the price of an agricultural membership. I also value the friendships and good times, of course.
If I were running a business that grossed $10,000,000 per year, I would probably have my own attorney on staff or maybe more than one. However, much to my dismay, I do not gross even a fraction of that. So why is this relevant your ask? Our team of state and federal law makers has nothing better to do than make new and exciting laws for us to try and follow. Then let’s add ballot measures that seek to force us to cut dead trees down. Many of these laws and measures are thousands of pages of drivel and technical jargon. I run a one man freak show (some would call it a business) and it’s all I can do to get the work done that needs doing on a day to day basis. So when there is measure X on the ballot that is a 1400 page measure that might affect my business, how do I make an informed decision? I look to Farm Bureau. CFBF has a legal department whose job is to look out for the well being of agriculture. They read all 1400 pages of drivel and boil it down to something I can understand with a minimal amount of research.
Being a Farm Bureau member is important for many reasons, but to me the most important reason for being a member is that the people who often times are making decisions about what happens on my farm, elected officials, have no basis for those decisions other than preconceived ideas or what they are being told by individuals who don’t have my best interest in mind. Farm Bureau provides a strong, focused voice on my behalf to educate and influence these elected leaders so that I can continue to operate my business and support my family.
Living in a state where the political power is concentrated in a few big cities, we need political clout, there is no stronger more supportive ally than Farm Bureau. Whether the issue is local, statewide or national, no one represents rural interests like Farm Bureau.