Monterey County Farm Bureau

Candidate Endorsements

MCFB Endorses Steve McShane for Supervisor, District 4 in 2020

Monterey County Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors endorses Steve McShane for the Fourth District Monterey County Supervisorial position; the election will be in early 2020 when California holds its primary election.

Steve McShane is in his third term as a City Councilmember, representing District 3 serving the South Salinas area since 2010.  Steve has been active in many public forums, councils, commissions and boards over the past 20 years, and currently serves as the Chair of the Monterey Air Resources District and Vice-Chair of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments and Monterey Bay Community Power.

As a Salinas City Councilmember, Steve has been a strong advocate for public safety, city-centered housing, economic development, arts, and the agricultural sector.  He has played a key role in addressing the continuing housing and homelessness issues.  Steve worked hard to pass an adaptive re-use ordinance that focuses city-centered growth in the downtown area.  As a former member of the Salinas Planning Commission, Steve helped shape economic development and citywide improvements.

Steve is a graduate of CalPoly, San Luis Obispo and Santa Clara University and is an active Farm Bureau member.  Steve resides in the Los Olivos-Riker neighborhood of Salinas with his wife Danielle and their son Patrick.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Monterey County Farm Bureau, please consider supporting Steve McShane for election to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors in early 2020.


Statement from Steve McShane:

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” – something that our parents taught us when we were kids.

But what if the name you were called was environmentalist?

Just recently, I was asked if I considered myself an environmentalist. I thought about the question for a moment and realized that this is a label those of us in agriculture must embrace.

I’ve always considered myself an environmentalist.  I studied soil science at Cal Poly.  I am a partner in Converted Organics, which is known for producing eco-friendly fertilizers.

Through my work, I’ve made friends with some of the best growers - wonderful, local farmers who are true stewards of the land that we have here in Monterey County.  And they’re all environmentalists.

So, yes – I consider myself an environmentalist.  And at their core – I bet most farmers consider themselves environmentalists, too.  While the label may not sound right, the truth is much of our environmental work goes unnoticed.  Farmers have long been preservationists with our local environment.

We should embrace being called an environmentalist – because no one cares more about our slice of Mother Earth than local growers.  Farmers and environmentalists do not have to be mutually exclusive.

Ever since I was first elected to the Salinas City Council over a decade ago, I realized that there were too few elected officials with an ag background – who truly know local agriculture.

I earned my stripes down in Yuma, negotiated new pack sizes with the big retailers and worked the third sanitation shift in a processing plant.  I claim this part of my resume with pride.

Local farmers have been practicing sustainable farming for years.  Sustainability isn’t just a new catch phrase for farmers – it’s literally the inheritance they plan on leaving to their children.

Many of the operations in the Valley are passed down from generation to generation and are the heart of California’s agriculture. That generational legacy means that farmers bear the responsibility of feeding the world while also being a steward of the land.

Yes, you are an environmentalist.  Accept it.

Environmentalists and farmers all want the same thing.  Clean air, clean water and healthy soil.  The families of farmers and environmentalists all drink the same water and breathe the same air.  Our aims are true.

We need to better tell the stories of how farmers are environmentalists.  The work we do.  The research we rely upon.  The sacrifices we make. The pride in our land and our stewardship.  Telling these stories is key in having others understand us and cooperate with us.

As Tom Nassif of the Western Growers Association said, “…In truth, farmers and environmentalists should be allies. The environmental and agricultural communities have more in common than conventional wisdom might suggest. Both desire to preserve our planet and its resources for future generations. I am not shy about saying farmers are the original environmentalists.”

Of course farmers are environmentalists.  Farming is a business.  Successful agriculture businesses are dependent upon healthy soil, clean air and clean water.  Neglected land will soon cease producing fruit and vegetables.  Farmers know this – their parents and grandparents knew this.  They were environmentalists.

Salinas Valley producers have been the leader among environmentalists, using technology to learn how to better protect our soil, crops, water and air.  As organic farming continues to grow, more and more growers will be looking to new technology for more sustainability.

In the Salinas Valley, tech experts are working hand-in-hand with our industry in researching, planning and using the most sustainable technologies and practices.  You know what?  These tech developers who are working in agriculture – they’re all environmentalists, too.  That’s part of what drives them.

In 2014, I founded the Salinas Valley Ag-Tech Summit along with Hartnell College. This event capitalizes on a regional commitment to innovation in our industry.  At each Summit, more and more growers are embracing new innovation in our industry with sustainable practices in mind.

Taylor Fresh Foods is a terrific example of farmers who are also environmentalists. The world’s largest producer of vegetables, they are committed to “…using sustainable farming practices to grow the finest vegetables and preserve their land in order to pass on to the next generation of farmers…”

I am proud to have received an early endorsement from the Monterey County Farm Bureau for my campaign for County Supervisor.  Please consider this an invitation to get involved in my election – both with an endorsement and a contribution.

I’m proud to call myself an environmentalist.