Managing production costs
During 2013, Farm Bureau:
- Actively participated in the Agriculture Workforce Coalition, which negotiated an enhanced agricultural immigration program included in immigration reform legislation passed by the U.S. Senate; pressed for similar reform in the House of Representatives.
- Successfully opposed state legislation that would have expanded mandatory mediation and could have imposed unionization on farm employees years after an initial vote; the bill was shelved for the year.
- Worked to defeat state legislation that would have imposed a new tax on all fertilizers sold; the bill stalled in the Legislature.
- Successfully worked to prevent passage this year of a bill that would have granted broad, new authority to the California Coastal Commission to impose administrative fines.
- Advocated for successful state legislation to extend several incentive programs for air quality improvement used by farmers and ranchers.
- Argued successfully for agricultural customers with small electric demand to be included among those receiving a portion of revenues allocated to utilities from greenhouse-gas auctions, and continued to advocate for this benefit for all other agricultural customers.
- Worked with state tax authorities to clarify that solar panels used to generate electricity for irrigation pumps or other farm equipment qualify for a partial exemption of sales and use taxes.
- Advocated successfully for a new state law to deter metal theft by cracking down on the proliferation of illegal scrap-metal recyclers.
- Worked for a new law that creates a fine of up to $5,000 for grand theft of livestock and dedicates those funds for the purpose of investigating livestock theft.
- Advocated before the California Public Utilities Commission to minimize energy rate impacts to agricultural customers and added electric-rate information to the CFBF website.
- Conducted seminars to help agricultural employers prepare for implementation of the Affordable Care Act.