Farmers make valuable environmental contributions
» April 20, 2004 «
California farmers and ranchers, the most productive food producers in the nation, make valuable, lasting contributions to the state's environment. The environmental contributions of family farmers are being celebrated on Earth Day, April 22.
"California's farmers and ranchers take great care of our state's environment, producing high-quality food, fiber, flowers and forest products for people while they protect the quality of our land, air and water," said CFBF President Bill Pauli. "They are committed to earthwise practices and ways of conserving precious natural resources through innovation and ingenuity."
Pauli said most farmers provide environmental benefits as a normal course of their agricultural activities, such as conserving water, preventing soil erosion, encouraging vegetative diversity and providing habitat for species.
"It is estimated that more than half of America's agricultural producers intentionally provide habitat for wildlife, significantly increasing wildlife populations," said Pauli. "There are countless examples across the Golden State of self-directed, voluntary efforts by farmers to do good things to help wildlife thrive for the benefit of all."
Farmers have made significant strides to promote clean air by planting thousands of trees each year, in forests and on farms, according to Pauli, a Mendocino County winegrape, pear and timber producer. He adds that water conservation and water quality protection are extensively practiced.
"California farmers have consistently improved water-use efficiency. As measured by the state, farm water use is less than it was 35 years ago, but crop production tonnage is up 67 percent," Pauli said. "They are committed to wise use of our state's natural resources. Farmers are true environmentalists." California farmland covers roughly one-third of the state's total land area. Pauli said generations of farmers have cared for the environment, in addition to providing high-quality food, fiber, flowers and forest products to consumers.
"Our farmland is a source of national security, and we will endeavor to protect this unique and productive environment for the benefit of our great state and our nation through wise, responsible stewardship," he said.
Permission for use is granted, however, credit must be made to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item.Top