Farm Bureau president emphasizes involvement, outreach
» December 7, 2009 «
Saying that the future of farming lies in the hands of farmers, California Farm Bureau Federation President Doug Mosebar called on members of the state's largest farming organization to expand their political involvement and public outreach so that consumers and elected leaders understand the importance of protecting family farms.
Mosebar spoke today during the 91st CFBF Annual Meeting in Anaheim. In his address, he underscored ongoing issues of concern to the state's farmers and ranchers, such as securing a reliable water supply.
Mosebar characterized the state's last three years of drought as having left farmers in a poker game in which they had to make tough decisions about whether to "take another card, hold or fold." He said farmers and ranchers "must work together with both our partners and our detractors to develop solutions that balance the needs of all water users."
"The solutions need to make sense," he added. "And they need to acknowledge that growing food within our borders is a national security issue. Without a reliable supply of water, there is no reason to plant a crop."
He also warned that the coming year will pose challenges to all farmers and ranchers as they fight for their water rights and against regulations that impact domestic food production. To fight these fights—and to be effective in legislative discussions—farmers need to stay politically engaged, he said.
"Face-to-face contacts with legislators and other stakeholders allow us to share real-life stories—your stories—of how decisions they make are applied," Mosebar said. "Relationships are important, and we will need to make sure that new and existing elected leaders understand the importance of maintaining a healthy farming sector."
Looking ahead, Mosebar highlighted some critical issues that the organization will continue to work on. They include fighting trade protectionism; improving water supply reliability; protecting farmers' ability to use production tools; battling against fees and higher taxes; reforming the estate tax and health care; restoring funding for the Williamson Act land conservation program; and advocating for the right to farm.
Mosebar, who was first elected CFBF president in December 2005, farms hay, squash, flowers and pumpkins and raises cattle in Santa Ynez.
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of 81,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 5 million Farm Bureau members.
Permission for use is granted, however, credit must be made to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item.Top