Monterey County Farm Bureau

Farm Bureau: Agriculture's Voice

Here's a sample of what Farm Bureau has accomplished recently:

ENVIRONMENT

  • Prevented the CA Air Resources Board from gaining unwarrented authority to further regulate methane, a non-carcionogenic gas; adequate regulation currently exists at state and federal levels to regulate methane.
  • As part of a business coaltion, successfully prevented the state's mandatory greenhouse gas program from being extended for another 35 years; working with the administration to request an economic analysis of the current program and other oversight improvements that are needed before the program is reauthorized or considered for extension.
  • Helped to halt a mandate for a 50% reduction in petroleum use by 2030; resource efficiencies are good goals, and mandates must be accompanied with solid econmic assessments, precise implementation measures, and solid solutions for reasonably priced alternatives.
  • Actively participated in workshops and advisory committees as the state develops a sustainable freight strategy regulatory proposal that could potenitally require CA to devleop zero emissions for food distribution and procssing operations.
  • Actively engaged in a number of Proposition 65 reforms to ensure that both farmers and food processors are not required to place warning labels on food products.

 

LABOR

  • Engaged in discussions with the Cal/OSHA Standards Board to make the final version of the Heat Illness Prevention Standard more workable for farmers and ranchers; this engagement led to lessened impacts of several revisions ultimately adopted by Cal/OSHA including the change in temperature at which shade will have to beprovided at all times.
  • Provided measurements of light in outdoor areas at night and conducted extensive discussions about the practicality of a new lighting standard to night work in agricutlure.
  • Provided assistance to farmers and ranchers seeking to correctly implement the rquirements for agricultural employers to proivde sick leave to their employees.
  • Continued to play a key role as part of the national coalition to press Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform that addresses the needs of farmers, farm employees and the economy, while enhancing border security.
  • Monitored the drafing of EPA Worker Protection Standards to ensure these standards did not add budensome requirements on top of exisitng state standards.

 

LAND USE & TAXATION

  • Sponsored successful legislation to make permanent a law credited with saving the Williamson Act farmiland conservation program by providing counties with an alternative to exiting the program completely.
  • Sponsored a successful bill providing counties with greater incentive to implement solar-use-easement provisions of the Williamson Act, encouraging location of solar facilities on marginal lands.
  • Protected the sales tax exemption of 5.5% on qualified farm implement and supply purchases.
  • Helped defeat a split-roll parcel tax proposal that would have allowed school districts to impose unlimited tax increases on owners of farmland and other commercial property.

 

NATURAL RESOURCES

  • Communicated concerns to State Water Resources Control Board members about the Grazing Regulatory Action Plan (GRAP) and its potential impacts on livestock producers; the proposal was ultimately terminated as unnecessary.
  • Advocated with the state fish and wildlife agency to continue mangement practices to control predators.
  • Participated in the CA Forest Watershed Alliance and advocated for a new federal budgetary mechanism that would adequately fund federal fire suppression needs.

 

FOOD SAFETY

  • Supported legislation that would create a national standard for the labeling of genetically engineered foods, which would provide certainty and save costs for food product lableing.
  • Communicated with the Food and Drug Administration to ensure Food Safety Modernization Act priorities are enacted in the final rules.
  • Commented on the new Federal Dietary Guidelines, offering concern about the guildelines on dairy and beef consumption.

 

EDUCATION

  • Defended career technical education and Agriculture Incentive Grant Program funding to ensure CA has the necessary workforce to carry out the increasingly technical jobs assocatied with agricultural produciton, labor, construction and others.