Monterey County Farm Bureau

CFBF Annual Meeting

Held in Anaheim, Califonria Farm Bureau Federation held their Annual Meeting for members; over 800 farmers and ranchers from all over Califonria attended and learned about current issues and considered policy recommendations for the coming year.

Securing the future of California agriculture will require consistent, long-term and unified efforts, Paul Wenger stated in his last message as Presdient of CFBF. Wenger spoke during the opening General Session on Monday, December 4th.

Instant communication as represented by smartphone technology, Wenger said, can lure people into thinking that public policies affecting farms and ranches could be resolved quickly through social media, for example.

But the most effective way to sway public policy, he said, “is long-term, consistent, working with individuals, taking them on tours on farms, supporting them politically, getting them out and educating them about agriculture. It’s not fast, it’s not easy, but those who work the hardest the longest and invest the most are probably going to be successful.”

To influence the debate in a largely urbanized state such as California, Wenger said, means working with government officials, political candidates and elected leaders who may have little if any background in agriculture.

“We have to get out of our comfort zone and start dealing with some people we normally don’t deal with,” he said, adding that he is proud of Farm Bureau’s work in that regard.

After eight years as president, Wenger has served his maximum term in office, and urged Farm Bureau and other agricultural organizations to work together for the greater good of farmers and ranchers.

“I appreciate the opportunity to work with all of you here. I do love this organization and everybody that’s out here,” Wenger said. “We have got to continue to work together.”

An olive and citrus fruit grower from Oroville, Jamie Johansson, has been elected the new president of the California Farm Bureau Federation. The election of Johansson and of vice presidents Shannon Douglass of Orland and Shaun Crook of Sonora highlighted the final day of the CFBF Annual Meeting in Anaheim.

Johansson becomes the 16th CFBF president after succeeding Paul Wenger of Modesto, who had served the maximum eight years in office.

Johansson has served as a statewide CFBF officer for eight years. He was elected second vice president in 2009 and first vice president in 2015. He is a former state chairman of the CFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers State Committee and former vice president of the Butte County Farm Bureau. A first-generation farmer, he also operates an olive oil company, Lodestar Farms. He co-founded the Sierra Oro Farm Trail Association and is a former member of the Oroville City Council.

“Californians want diverse and affordable food, and Farm Bureau needs to show how that diversity also comes with great complexity, in terms of the tools and resources needed to grow food in this state,” Johansson said. “Ultimately, what Farm Bureau does is to protect the creativity California farmers and ranchers need to provide the diversity our customers demand.”

Douglass was elected to succeed Johansson as CFBF first vice president. She is a director of the Glenn County Farm Bureau and a former chair of the Young Farmers and Ranchers State Committee. Douglass is an owner of Douglass Ranch, which raises beef cattle, sunflowers, corn and forage crops, and founded CalAgJobs, an online listing of employment opportunities in California agriculture. She serves on the Glenn County Fair Board of Directors and is a former director of the Glenn County Resource Conservation District.

Crook was elected as second vice president. He has served as president of the Tuolumne County Farm Bureau since 2015 and is a graduate of the Leadership Farm Bureau program. He chaired both the CFBF Economy and Farm Policy Issue Advisory Committee and the Commodity Policy Review Committee. A licensed timber operator, Crook is a vice president of a family timber business and a real estate agent specializing in ranch, commercial and residential properties.

Outstanding programs of work in service to members earned Monterey County Farm Bureau the County of the Year Award at the 99th California Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Anaheim.

53 County Farm Bureaus were judged on programs of excellence across five categories: membership, policy implementation, leadership activities, agricultural promotion and education, and public relations.

Monterey County Farm Bureau earned County of the Year honors for a second consecutive year.  In 2017, MCFB hosted two listening sessions on federal farm policy, assisted in developing a maintenance program for the Salinas River channel, collaborated on the formation of a Salinas Basin Agricultural Water Association on groundwater issues, provided guest lecturers at local colleges, worked on local land use issues, rallied for immigration policy reform, collaborated with startup companies providing innovative agricultural products or services, and organized a successful centennial celebration.

MCFB is humbled to receive this award two years in a row as we continue to represent our members on important local, regional, state, and federal policy issues.

MCFB accepts 2017
County of the Year Award
(L - R):
Director April Mackie, Past-President Jeff Pereira, President Colby Pereira, Executive Director Norm Groot, Director Bill Lipe