News Releases

Farm Bureau establishes disaster-relief fund

November 15, 2018

To assist farms, ranches and rural communities hurt by wildfires, floods and other natural disasters, the California Farm Bureau Federation has established a Farm and Rural Disaster Fund. Created under the California Bountiful Foundation—a charitable foundation established by CFBF—the fund will collect monetary contributions to aid communities affected by natural disasters.

“All too often, we’ve seen rural areas of California wracked by fires, floods and other natural disasters,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “We created the Farm and Rural Disaster Fund in response to our members’ request to be able to provide aid to farms, ranches and rural communities that have suffered losses.”

Online contributions to the fund may be made online via the CFBF website at www.cfbf.com or the California Bountiful website at www.californiabountiful.com, following the Farm and Rural Disaster Fund link. People who prefer to donate by postal mail may do so by sending a check, payable to California Bountiful Foundation, to California Bountiful Foundation; Farm and Rural Disaster Fund; 2300 River Plaza Drive; Sacramento, CA 95833; Attn: Financial Services.

In addition, county Farm Bureaus have begun relief efforts specific to the Camp Fire that continues to burn in Butte County.

The Butte County Farm Bureau and Butte Ag Foundation have created a Camp Fire Animal Agriculture Assistance Fund. The fund will accept monetary donations dedicated to feeding, housing and maintaining livestock displaced by the fire that are being cared for at the Butte County Fairgrounds. For more information, see www.butteagfoundation.org.

The Colusa County Farm Bureau has begun a children’s book drive to benefit elementary schools and families in the Paradise area. For information on how to donate new or gently used children’s books, contact the Colusa County Farm Bureau at 530-458-5130 or the Butte County Farm Bureau at 530-533-1473.

Farm Bureau welcomes delay in river-flows vote

November 7, 2018

Believing voluntary agreements hold the best potential for benefiting fisheries without severe losses to people, the California Farm Bureau Federation welcomed today’s state water board action to postpone a vote on a contested river-flows plan.

Acting on a request from Gov. Brown and Gov.-elect Newsom, the State Water Resources Control Board decided to delay until next month a decision on a plan to reallocate flows in the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers. Brown and Newsom said the additional time would allow for further negotiations on voluntary agreements with affected water users.

“Voluntary approaches that combine habitat improvements with well-planned, functional river flows offer the best hope for helping fish while maintaining the water rights people depend on,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “Those voluntary approaches also provide the best hope for solutions that avoid long, drawn-out court cases that would only prolong the uncertainty for both people and the environment.”

Farm Bureau and 53 other organizations urged the water board this summer to reject a proposal from board staff to redirect flows in the rivers, and to pursue voluntary agreements that would lessen flow amounts but be more beneficial to fish populations.

“We’re pleased the governor and governor-elect recognize the clear benefits of voluntary actions,” Johansson said. “Imposing stringent regulatory requirements based on policies that have failed in the past would damage an important region of California without helping fish. We will work with the governor and governor-elect to assure that any future agreements lead to success for the environment and the economy.”

Joint news release: Presidential order restores Western water supplies

October 19, 2018

News release from CFBF, California Farm Water Coalition, Family Farm Alliance and Western Growers

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Today’s order by President Trump will provide welcome relief to Western farmers, cities, rural communities and wildlife refuges that have struggled under water supply rules that are long overdue for an update. Prioritizing national interest and the value of California food production, the president’s order requires the re-consultation of the biological opinions to be completed and fully implemented by August 2019.

The deadline will bring to a close the review of rules governing the long-term operation of the federal Central Valley Project and California State Water Project. The review has been underway since August 2016, a process today’s order requires to be concluded by Aug. 31, 2019.

The president’s action today fulfills his campaign commitment to help solve the state’s water supply shortages and will greatly benefit Central Valley communities and the environment. Since 1992, water supply restrictions have caused severe economic consequences for farms and the people who depend on them for work. Many of the state’s most disadvantaged communities have suffered due to scarce water supplies. Wildlife refuges that are a critical component of the Pacific Flyway have had insufficient water to meet the needs of millions of ducks, geese, shorebirds, songbirds and endangered animals in large parts of the Central Valley and the Klamath Basin. An ongoing review of the rules governing these critical water supplies only delays the ability of these important areas to recover.

This action will also help address water shortages that have occurred across the West as the result of federal regulations overseen by multiple agencies. It offers hope to farmers and ranchers served by federal water projects in the Pacific Northwest, including the Columbia Basin and the Klamath Basin. The president’s order places the responsibility of operating the federal water projects with the Department of the Interior, to be supported by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The action prohibits any impacts to threatened or endangered species protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

This issue has been scrutinized by the Executive Branch as far back as 2011. At that time, President Obama observed that the Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in freshwater, but the Commerce Department handles them when they’re in saltwater. Those overlapping jurisdictions have only slowed efforts to help the fish.

A committee convened by the National Research Council also studied this matter a few years ago. The NRC found that the lack of a systematic, well-framed overall analysis between the two services is “a serious scientific deficiency, and it likely is related to the ESA’s practical limitations as to the scope of actions that can or must be considered in a single biological opinion.”

Improved coordination between federal agencies will promote more efficient, effective and coordinated management of all ESA responsibilities for anadromous and freshwater fish in Western watersheds, from the highest reaches of our headwaters to the Pacific Ocean.

“This action is an important and common-sense move that will benefit Western farmers and ranchers whose livelihoods depend on federal water projects,” said Dan Keppen, executive director of the Family Farm Alliance. “It’s a practical and assertive change to Western water management and species recovery that our membership strongly supports.”

California’s GOP congressional delegation from the Central Valley played an important role in identifying the problems in the state’s water system and worked closely with the Trump administration to produce a solution that is consistent with federal law and will improve the water delivery system.

“There’s no question that the Central Valley has lagged behind the economic recovery experienced in other parts of the state. We’re optimistic that these changes will not only help improve water supplies for farms, farm-related businesses, and disadvantaged rural communities, they will provide the incentive to put science-based solutions to work to help recover iconic native fish species that have suffered under the existing regulatory approach,” said Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition.

“This is a common-sense improvement to a process that has been abused in the past by regulatory agencies seeking to impose a scientifically-unsound regime on water users that ultimately, by design, de-irrigates some of the highest quality farmland in the world. This move by the Administration simply ensures that the process of revising the rules governing Delta water operations will be less vulnerable to regulatory abuse,” said Tom Nassif, president of the Western Growers Association.

“Implementation of the Endangered Species Act can be better for both species and people, and the president’s action moves us in that direction,” California Farm Bureau Federation President Jamie Johansson said. “It’s time to grow beyond the culture of conflict that has governed California water for too long. We need streamlined solutions that benefit species and that benefit both the farmers who provide California-grown food and farm products and everyone who depends on those products.”

Farm Bureau announces positions on ballot measures

October 2, 2018

As the November election nears, California Farm Bureau Federation directors encourage voters to approve a water bond measure but to reject an initiative that would impose new restrictions on how farm animals are raised. CFBF directors considered statewide ballot measures during a meeting in Sacramento.

The CFBF board endorsed passage of Proposition 3, an $8.9 billion measure to invest in water-system enhancements including groundwater supply, water recycling, efficiency improvements, safe drinking water and repairs to critical water projects.

“One of California’s top priorities must be to enhance our water system,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “Proposition 3 builds on earlier investments. It represents the latest contribution to what must be an ongoing commitment to assure California’s water system can meet its future needs.”

The ballot initiative Proposition 12 would dictate specific requirements for housing egg-laying hens, veal calves and hogs. Johansson called the measure unnecessary.

“Everyone agrees farm animals should be treated with care,” he said, “and California voters passed Proposition 2 on animal housing 10 years ago. California egg farmers who have managed to stay in business comply with those rules. All Proposition 12 does is allow trial lawyers to file predatory lawsuits against egg farmers, who provide some of the healthiest food on the planet. Proposition 12 would push egg prices higher in the state that already suffers from the nation’s highest poverty rate.”

Here is the full list of CFBF ballot recommendations:
Proposition 1—Veterans Housing Bonds No position
Proposition 2—Shift in Tax Revenue NO
Proposition 3—Water System Enhancements YES
Proposition 4—Children’s Hospital Bonds No position
Proposition 5—Property Tax Assessment Transfer YES
Proposition 6—Fuel Tax Repeal YES
Proposition 7—Daylight Saving Time No position
Proposition 8—Kidney Dialysis Price Setting NO
Proposition 9 was removed from the ballot
Proposition 10—Rent Control NO
Proposition 11—Ambulance Employees No position
Proposition 12—Farm Animal Housing NO

Farm Bureau welcomes U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement

October 1, 2018

The newly revised North American Free Trade Agreement, renamed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, promises to ease export of California-grown farm products, according to the California Farm Bureau Federation.

“The newly announced U.S.-Canada agreement, in combination with the earlier agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, strengthens relations with two key trading partners,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said, “and we urge Congress to ratify the USMCA without delay.”

Johansson said the agreement will provide California farmers and ranchers with “much-needed certainty” in key export markets.

“We applaud the three governments for working to modernize the agricultural chapters in the agreement,” he said. “It’s a welcome development at a time when farmers have faced obstacles in selling their products to foreign customers.”

Canada represents the second-largest market for California agricultural exports, with sales of more than $3.3 billion in 2016—the most recent year for which full statistics are available. Mexico is the No. 5 foreign market for California farm products, with sales of just more than $1 billion in 2016.

“Agricultural exports support thousands of jobs in California, both in rural areas where crops and commodities are grown and packed, and in urban centers from which products are marketed and shipped,” Johansson said. “We hope the agreements with Mexico and now with Canada lead to further easing of trade restrictions.”

The new agreements leave in effect Canadian and Mexican retaliatory tariffs on farm goods imposed after the U.S. placed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Johansson urged U.S. negotiators to reach agreements on those issues as soon as possible.

“We’ve seen California farmers, ranchers and agricultural marketers lose sales because of the retaliatory tariffs from Canada, Mexico and in particular from China,” he said. “Until those tariffs come off, farmers won’t see the full benefit of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement.”

Farm Bureau seeks collaboration, not conflict, in species protection

September 26, 2018

Moving from a “culture of conflict” to collaborative conservation would help the federal Endangered Species Act work better for both species and people, according to testimony before a House committee today.

California Farm Bureau Federation President Jamie Johansson testified on behalf of the American Farm Bureau Federation before the House Committee on Natural Resources in Washington, D.C. The committee held a hearing on nine measures aimed at improving the ESA.

Johansson emphasized that farmers and ranchers share the goal of protecting species from extinction, but said the past 45 years of ESA implementation have generated more conflict among people than success at recovering fish and wildlife. He cited examples from California—such as ESA protections for the northern spotted owl, delta smelt and salmon—that have brought significant disruptions to rural communities without benefiting the protected species.

“What we know is that to actually take care of species on the land, we need to work with, not against, the people on the land,” Johansson said. “For this to happen, we must increase the opportunities for collaboration and decrease the opportunities for conflict.”

Johansson encouraged the House committee to focus on ESA improvements that produce collaborative conservation by reducing conflict and improving regulatory certainty.

“In order for any landowner to work collaboratively to conserve the species, they need to know at the start what will be expected of them, and they must be confident the rules are not going to change once they are in,” he said.

Johansson offered Farm Bureau’s support for collaborative efforts to improve the ESA for both people and species, and stressed the need for “viable and durable solutions that will result in long-term, meaningful improvements” to the ESA.

The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 40,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 5.5 million Farm Bureau members.

Agreement streamlines repair of high-tech farm equipment

September 7, 2018

An agreement signed today by representatives of California farmers and farm-equipment dealers will make it easier for farmers to diagnose and repair equipment without accessing or downloading proprietary software or code. Leaders of the California Farm Bureau Federation and Far West Equipment Dealers Association signed the memorandum of understanding at an equipment dealership in Stockton.

Under the “right to repair” agreement, equipment dealers commit to providing access to service manuals, product guides, on-board diagnostics and other information that would help a farmer or rancher to identify or repair problems with the machinery. The agreement includes restrictions. Among them: Source code for proprietary software would not be accessible, and owners would not be able to change equipment in ways that would affect compliance with safety or emissions regulations.

“Reliable farm equipment is crucial to the success of any farming operation, and farmers have long depended on their ability to make repairs quickly in order to keep their equipment running during harvest and other key times,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “This agreement gives farmers the information they need to do just that, even as equipment has become increasingly complex.”

FWEDA President and CEO Joani Woelfel said the agreement “says a lot about the relationship between dealers and their customers.”

“This agreement is especially important because whenever we can resolve issues that concern us without passing laws, everybody wins,” Woelfel said. “We appreciate Assembly Member Eggman for encouraging the resolution this agreement represents.”

Earlier this year, Assembly Member Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, introduced legislation known as the Right to Repair Act that would have ensured consumers of a wide array of electronic products would receive access to manufacturers’ diagnostic and repair information.

“Although the bill didn’t advance in the Legislature, I am very pleased that it produced some encouragement for the agreement between the California Farm Bureau and the Far West Equipment Dealers,” Eggman said. “Access to diagnostic and repair information will help farmers get their equipment back into service more quickly, saving them valuable time and money.”

Under the agreement, maintenance, diagnostic and repair information not already available will be made available for tractors and combines put into service beginning Jan. 1, 2021.

The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 40,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 5.5 million Farm Bureau members.

Coalition urges state board to reject ‘unimpaired flows’ plan

July 27, 2018

Urging the state water board to reject a proposal to redirect flows in three Central California rivers, a coalition of more than 50 agricultural, water and business organizations encouraged the board today to renew efforts for voluntary agreements with affected water users.

“This unified response from groups representing farmers, ranchers, and urban and rural residents alike demonstrates the impact the water board’s proposal would have, and the need for the board to explore alternative methods that would help fish without the severe human cost of its current approach,” California Farm Bureau Federation President Jamie Johansson said.

The State Water Resources Control Board is scheduled to vote on the proposal next month. It would commit much more water in the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers to “unimpaired flows” intended to benefit salmon and other fish.

The agricultural-water-business coalition said the proposal would have “large and unprecedented” impacts on the affected region and that “alternative pathways exist for the achievement of fish and wildlife goals.”

Well beyond the impacts to farms and water districts, the coalition said, shockwaves from the board’s proposal “are sure to ripple outward to adversely affect businesses, local governments and disadvantaged communities throughout the northern San Joaquin Valley.”

The coalition also warned that the proposal violates the state Constitution’s requirement that water be used reasonably, “by proposing the extraction of huge volumes of ‘unimpaired flows’ from otherwise legal and beneficial water users, at enormous human cost and without any reasonable and commensurate assurance of benefit to the environment.”

Describing the flow proposal as “an expedition in scientific uncertainty,” the coalition encouraged the board to support “voluntary and creative solution-finding” such as the use of functional flows—releasing just the right amount of water into rivers at the appropriate time to benefit fish—and non-flow alternatives including measures to create additional habitat or address species that prey on protected fish.

“Until every opportunity has been exhausted for creative conservation and collaboration,” the letter concluded, “a difficult and damaging regulatory path which is premised upon uncertain future fisheries successes should be avoided at all costs.”

The letter, drafted by CFBF, was signed by 54 organizations, including the Association of California Water Agencies; California Bankers Association; California Chamber of Commerce; Southern California Water Coalition; the Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts; agricultural and water organizations representing a wide range of crops, commodities and regions; and 26 county Farm Bureaus. The full text of the letter and full list of signatories may be found online.

Tariff-assistance package promises short-term relief

July 24, 2018

Expressing the desire for a quick resolution of trade disputes that have disrupted exports of California farm products, the president of the California Farm Bureau Federation said he appreciates administration efforts to address the impact on farmers and ranchers.

CFBF President Jamie Johansson responded to today’s announcement of a tariff-assistance package by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Because our state leads the nation in agricultural exports, California has a lot at stake in assuring fair trade of farm products,” Johansson said. “We appreciate how USDA has worked to assemble this package quickly at a time of market uncertainty for farmers and ranchers.”

According to USDA officials, the aid will include bonus purchases of fruits, vegetables, nuts, meats and other food products, to benefit food banks and other food-aid programs.

“We hope these food purchases will provide some immediate relief to farmers and ranchers affected by trade disputes,” Johansson said. “Investing these purchases back into communities through food banks will be helpful in more ways than one.”

He said the package promises short-term relief, but that long-term resolution to the trade disputes remains urgent.

“Ultimately, farmers and ranchers want what we have always wanted: to trade on a fair basis with customers around the world who want to buy our products,” Johansson said. “We will continue to urge the administration and our congressional delegation to resolve the trade disputes as quickly as possible.”

Farm Bureau welcomes farm bill passage

June 28, 2018

New federal farm legislation passed today by the U.S. Senate includes many of the top priorities identified by the California Farm Bureau Federation.

The bill establishes federal policy on agricultural programs encompassing conservation, nutrition, commodities, trade, research, rural development and other topics. The Senate bill will be reconciled in conference committee with a farm bill passed by the House last week.

“The farm bill represents a five-year agreement between farmers and the American people,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “We will encourage our representatives to meld the best elements of the House and Senate bills to create a modern farm bill that serves farmers, ranchers, rural Americans and everyone who depends on the nation’s agricultural production.”

Johansson noted that the bill preserves conservation programs important to California farmers and ranchers and maintains investments in trade development, organic agriculture and programs to aid production of specialty crops such as vegetables, nuts and fruits. He said the measure also encourages research into mechanization, which offers a partial remedy for ongoing employee shortages on farms and ranches.

“This commitment to research acknowledges the need for long-term solutions for agricultural labor needs, and at the same time creates resources to develop innovative ways to harvest and care for crops,” Johansson said.

“On the other hand, the bill isn’t perfect,” he added. “We would like to see an improved risk-management program for dairy farms and changes to eligibility requirements for conservation programs that would allow more California farmers and ranchers to participate. The federal government also needs to adjust its definition of the term ‘rural,’ so more California communities could qualify for programs to improve facilities in rural regions.”

Current federal farm legislation is due to expire in September.

Farm leader: Congress must now focus on agricultural immigration reform

June 21, 2018

The California Farm Bureau Federation said it hopes today’s failure of an immigration measure in the U.S. House of Representatives will ultimately set the stage for Congress to resolve longstanding inadequacies in agricultural immigration programs that have contributed to chronic employee shortages on farms and ranches.

“Congress must move forward to forge a solution that would work well for farmers, ranchers and their employees throughout the nation,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said.

“The California Farm Bureau will advocate for an agricultural visa program that would accommodate people who want to enter the United States legally to do farm work, and in large-enough numbers to ease the shortages farmers have experienced,” Johansson said. “The new program must also recognize our current, highly skilled immigrant employees and help them gain proper documentation.”

During discussions on immigration issues, he said, CFBF has taken a lead in seeking solutions that keep families together.

“Farm Bureau is a family-based organization,” Johansson said. “We support policies that protect families throughout the immigration process.”

He noted that congressional leaders may consider new legislation on agricultural visas later this summer.

“Rural California, and rural America, rely on skilled immigrant agricultural employees to produce food and farm products on which we all depend,” Johansson said. “It’s time for Congress to fix the agricultural immigration system. Farm Bureau stands ready to help.”

Farm bill discussions will affect all Californians

April 12, 2018

Noting that programs in new federal farm legislation have the potential to benefit everyone in California, the leader of the California Farm Bureau Federation welcomed today’s release of draft legislation by the House Agriculture Committee. The release marks a key milestone in updating the multi-year farm bill that expires Sept. 30.

“Although it’s known as the farm bill, the legislation truly touches on everyone—first of all, because everyone eats, but also because of the conservation, research, trade and other programs it contains,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “Representing farmers and ranchers in the nation’s No. 1 farm state, Farm Bureau will advocate for programs of particular importance to California’s diverse agricultural landscape.”

For example, he said, as farmers throughout the state struggle to hire enough people to harvest crops, CFBF will seek increased research into technology to mechanize farming tasks.

“Agricultural innovation benefits not only farmers and their employees, but also people who work at California technology companies and universities seeking to make mechanization more practical,” Johansson said. “The farm bill also encourages development of new food and agricultural products that create new opportunities throughout the economy.”

Johansson said Farm Bureau will seek continued and enhanced commitment to farm bill programs that promote environmental stewardship.

“Current farm bill programs have helped farmers, ranchers and foresters promote air, water and soil health, and those programs should remain a priority,” he said. “The new farm bill should also enhance programs to expand access to developing foreign markets. Those programs lead to jobs in rural California but also in urban settings such as ports, marketing firms and export companies.”

Discussions of farm-bill issues will likely continue for the next several months, Johansson said, adding that Farm Bureau “will remain active in advocating for farm and nutrition programs that will serve Californians for years to come.”

Nine Farm Bureau members participate in leadership program

March 13, 2018

Intensive training on agricultural issues and leadership methods has begun for the nine members of the Leadership Farm Bureau Class of 2018. The class was formally introduced during the annual California Farm Bureau Federation Leaders Conference in Sacramento last week.

Participants in the Leadership Farm Bureau program receive personal-development, teambuilding and communications training, and advocate on behalf of Farm Bureau in both Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Participants will learn about agricultural issues and make field-studies trips to both Northern and Southern California. Sponsored by CFBF, the program includes seven sessions that involve more than 250 hours of training.

The LFB Class of 2018 includes:

  • Joseph Alexandre of Ferndale, a dairy farmer, CEO of the family dairy-products business and second vice president of the Humboldt County Farm Bureau;
  • Brittney Blankenship of Visalia, program coordinator for the Tulare County Farm Bureau;
  • Joe Ferrari of Linden, a walnut farmer and member of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation board of directors;
  • Rachael Fleming of Lodi, a program director for the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation;
  • Brad Fowler of Penn Valley, a cattle rancher and president of the Nevada County Farm Bureau;
  • Jason Gianelli of Bakersfield, a farm manager specializing in almonds and row crops, and a member of the Kern County Farm Bureau board of directors;
  • Erin Johnson of Anderson, executive director of the Shasta County Farm Bureau;
  • Jessica Sweeten of Hilmar, a sales representative for an agricultural products company who is active in the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee;
  • Taylor Zumstein of Fallbrook, owner of a breeding-sheep business and event and marketing coordinator for the San Diego County Farm Bureau.

The program of activities for the 2018 Leadership Farm Bureau class will culminate in December with graduation during the 100th CFBF Annual Meeting in San Diego. For further information about the program, see www.cfbf.com/leadership-farm-bureau.

Young California farmers, ranchers earn recognition

Feb. 27, 2018

Service to community and Farm Bureau earned awards for participants in the California Young Farmers and Ranchers program, and a student from Fresno State University won the national Collegiate Discussion Meet, during the annual American Farm Bureau Federation YF&R conference in Reno.

California Young Farmers and Ranchers earned three national awards related to food donations through the Harvest for All program—a partnership with Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.

California earned first place in the number of volunteer hours donated, at more than 10,000 hours; placed second in the number of pounds of food donated, at 15 million pounds; and was among three national winners of the Most Innovative Award. That honor was awarded to California for a food donation partnership between the Kern County YF&R Committee and the Kern County Fair, which led to the collection of 100,000 pounds of meat and 54,120 pounds of other food. Each award included a monetary prize from sponsor Nationwide®.

Tim Truax of Turlock, who majors in agricultural education at Fresno State, emerged as the winner of the national Collegiate Discussion Meet, which simulates a committee meeting with active participation and discussion. As national winner, Truax earned a $2,200 prize sponsored by the CSH Foundation.

The California YF&R Committee also distributed statewide awards during the Reno conference.

San Joaquin Farm Bureau member Katie Veenstra of Escalon received the Star YF&R Award, which recognizes an outstanding young farmer or rancher in California who goes above and beyond in service to agriculture.

The Kern County YF&R Committee earned the YF&R Committee of the Year Award for its activities during 2017. Composed of 50 members, the committee volunteered at many Farm Bureau and agricultural events. It raised money for people in need, such as for local food banks and the homeless, spent volunteer hours gleaning and developed the partnership with the Kern County Fair for food donations.

The Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers program works with active agriculturists between the ages of 18 and 35 who are involved in production, business and many other areas of agriculture. For more information, see www.cfbf.com/young-farmers-ranchers.

CFBF and Canadian Produce Marketing Association highlight importance of NAFTA

Feb. 22, 2018

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has created a vital trading relationship for both Canadian and Californian agricultural and food businesses. Today, at a trade panel discussion hosted by the Canadian consulate, both the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) and the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) reiterated their support for NAFTA and emphasized the importance of integrated supply chains across the continent.

“The fresh produce industry is committed to achieving a win-win-win agreement for all three NAFTA countries,” said Jane Proctor, CPMA Vice President of Policy and Issue Management. “NAFTA has enabled the free flow of goods across our borders with over $2.5 billion USD worth of fresh produce exported from California to Canada in 2016 and ensures that Canadians have a year-round supply of fresh and affordable produce. We appreciate the strong support shown by Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Canadian negotiators for our industry and all of Canadian agriculture during these negotiations.”

“California agricultural exports support 1 million jobs on farms and in cities, and that number will only increase with higher demand for California-grown products,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “Trade with Canada and Mexico under NAFTA has generally been positive for California farms, ranches and agricultural businesses. We support ongoing efforts to modernize the agreement for the benefit of farmers, food businesses and consumers in all three nations.”

The trading relationship between California and Canada remains strong with $6.3 billion USD in agricultural trade in 2016, including $4.1 billion worth of California agricultural exports to Canada.

The CFBF and CPMA will continue to work with negotiators and legislators on both sides of the border to ensure a successful and reciprocal agreement for industry.


ABOUT CALIFORNIA FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 36,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 5.5 million Farm Bureau members.

Contact
Phone: 916-561-5550
news@cfbf.com

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