Making our voice heard
During 2013, Farm Bureau:
- Rallied support for meaningful reform of federal immigration law through ongoing contacts with members of Congress and appearances in the news media.
- Surveyed nearly 550 farmers and ranchers in a second annual effort to gauge farmers' ability to hire enough on-farm employees; analyzed results for distribution to congressional offices and media in support of immigration reform.
- Successfully advocated for more federal support for California Department of Food and Agriculture programs that protect animal and plant health, to offset cuts in state funding for these essential programs.
- Coordinated a grassroots effort of Farm Bureau members in support of continuing the Agricultural Education Incentive Grant program, which is threatened for removal from the state budget.
- Co-sponsored listening sessions on proposed rules under the federal Food Safety Modernization Act and led a coalition of agricultural groups drafting comments on the act, stressing the need to revise and simplify the rules.
- Generated nearly 8,400 emails and letters to elected officials and government agencies via 13 FARM TEAM Action Alerts, which provided FARM TEAM members with background and talking points on key issues.
- Participated in an Ag Unite event organized by seven county Farm Bureaus to emphasize the need for greater political involvement by farmers and formation of a legal defense fund to participate in key court cases.
- Led a large coalition of organizations to support programs important to California farmers and ranchers within federal farm legislation, such as an air-quality improvement program and initiatives to enhance marketing, trade, research, animal-health laboratories and specialty-crop production.
- Provided Farm Bureau members with training on the skills needed to run for elective office by holding a Campaign Management Seminar for 27 prospective candidates.
- Renewed a call for rural property owners to file a protest when paying fire prevention "fees," and provided online information on how to do so while the fee remains under legal challenge.
- Organized multiple trips to government offices in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento, so farmers and ranchers could meet face to face with elected representatives and officials of government agencies.