CFBF Annual Meeting
California Farm Bureau Federation held their Annual Meeting in early December, providing an opportunity for farmers and ranchers from all over California to come together for education, policy review, and networking. Each year Farm Bureau policy is revised to best manage the issues as they presently apply, and provides guidance to elected officials, regulators, and Farm Bureau lobbyists when determining positions on proposed legislation and regulation in the coming year.
As always, the Annual Meeting starts with the Discussion Meet contest. Young Farmers & Ranchers, as well as college students, complete in a round-robin contest discussing important Ag issues in 30 minute sessions. Judging is done by experienced Farm Bureau members and partners, and this year’s winners will compete at a national level at the American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in January. It’s great to see so many of the Young Farmers & Ranchers who are well-read on the issues and can articulate their arguments solidly!
At the General Session, we heard from CFBF President Paul Wenger on accomplishments in this past legislative year, as well the outlook for the coming year. With Democrats controlling both Houses in our CA Legislature in a super-majority, the expectation is that issues such as minimum wage and overtime for Ag workers will be passed easily. CFBF will continue to work on the behalf of all farmers and ranchers, forging a strong relationship with Governor Brown, when new bills are introduced starting in January.
Breakout sessions on proposed air regulations for farm tractors, oil and chemical reporting requirements, irrigated lands regulations, energy use and conservation, and floodplain management offered a variety of topics for farmers and ranchers.
At the Awards Dinner, MCFB received a County of Excellence Activity Award for Membership, Policy, Leadership, and Public Relations, as well as the County award for Highest Percentage of Goal for Agricultural Memberships (MCFB achieved all membership goals in 2012).
The House of Delegates session debated policy changes on food safety and quality, commodity programs, water quality, and other issues.
CFBF is a grass-roots organization and our Annual Meeting is the culmination of our annual cycle that develops policy and priorities for the coming year. We are truly working the issues from a boots-on-the-ground perspective.
Next year’s Annual Meeting will be in Monterey in December 2013 … all MCFB Ag members are invited to participate in this process and learn more about how our policies are maintained.
MCFB President Jeff Pereira and Executive Director Norm Groot receive County Activity of Excellence Award and Membership Achievement Award from CFBF Second Vice-President Jamie Johansson.