Mosebar: Farm Bureau will 'step up to meet challenges'
» December 8, 2008 «
California Farm Bureau President Doug Mosebar presented the organization's 2008 Action Report, as he spoke to delegates at the CFBF Annual Meeting in Burlingame. Download JPG (4.8 MB)
Pledging to keep the California Farm Bureau Federation "a fighting organization" as he highlighted the important work it has done in the past year, CFBF President Doug Mosebar urged continued support from members to protect and advance the viability of the state's family farms and ranches.
His address during the CFBF Annual Meeting in Burlingame today included a look back on why the organization was formed 90 years ago. Among the goals that delegates listed at the organization's first Annual Meeting was that Farm Bureau "should be a fighting organization for the good of the farmers of the state."
Mosebar said Farm Bureau's mission has not changed much over the years.
"We are still, and will continue to be, a fighting organization as we step up to meet challenges and welcome opportunities each new day," he said.
Mosebar spoke about challenges that the state's farmers and ranchers had to confront this year and other critical issues they will need to address in the coming year.
The passage of Proposition 2, the farm animal-confinement initiative on last month's ballot, will drastically restrict the state's egg production and should serve as a "wake-up call for everyone," he said. Mosebar emphasized the importance of farmers talking and connecting to consumers so they know that farmers already operate under strict standards and take great care in raising farm animals.
Two years of drought, reduced water allocations and the uncertainty of immediate and future water supplies have forced farmers to make difficult decisions this year, including fallowing fields, reducing plantings and laying off employees. Court-mandated pumping restrictions to benefit the protected delta smelt also caused major disruptions to farmers' water supplies.
Mosebar said farmers must advocate for water policies that work for everyone. That includes overhauling the Endangered Species Act, he said, as well as creating more water storage and better ways to move water around the state.
"The solutions need to make sense, and they need to acknowledge that growing food within our borders is a national security issue," Mosebar said.
He underscored Farm Bureau's major accomplishments this year, including launching a program to raise awareness about heat stress and improve the health and safety of farm employees.
Mosebar noted that Farm Bureau helped to pass legislation to combat metal theft by making it harder for scrapyards to buy stolen goods. The organization also worked on the new federal farm bill to ensure additional funding for specialty crop programs and research, and advocated for enhanced efforts to stop invasive pests.
Other issues that Farm Bureau fought for this year included the passage of state legislation that allows farm stands to market processed foods such as jams, olive oil and dried fruit without being subject to retail food code standards, and the nationwide implementation of country-of-origin food labeling, which will allow consumers to know where their food comes from.
Mosebar urged family farmers and ranchers to remain active and politically involved.
"You all play a part in feeding America and the world," he said. "As farmers and ranchers in the most populous and geographically diverse state in our nation, it is our responsibility to ensure that we can continue to provide for the food security of our people. Protecting California family farms and ranches--your farms and ranches--is the way to ensure food security for all."
Mosebar, from Santa Ynez, was unanimously elected to a second term as president of the California Farm Bureau Federation last December. A former president of the Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau, Mosebar farms hay, squash, flowers and pumpkins and raises cattle.
The California Farm Bureau Federation, the state's largest farm organization, works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of 91,000 members statewide.
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