Farmers' political action stops damaging legislation
» October 19, 2005 «
In releasing its 2005 legislative scorecard today, the California Farm Bureau Federation said farmers, with the help of Gov. Schwarzenegger, successfully stood their ground by stopping bills that would have harmed family farmers and threatened California's agricultural heritage.
Political action by family farmers and ranchers led to the defeat of bills that would have further eroded the business climate for farmers in one of the nation's most stringently regulated states, and to adoption of new laws that will benefit California farmers.
The legislative voting record, titled the 2005 Family Farm Scorecard, tracks floor votes for each member of the state Senate and Assembly on 15 bills of particular importance to family farmers and ranchers.
Farm Bureau President Bill Pauli said farmers mobilized during 2005, to make sure that legislators and the governor understood how their actions would affect agriculture in the nation's top farm state. Pauli said he's encouraged by the organization's legislative accomplishments, but notes there remains a discrepancy between how Californians view family farms and how legislators vote on agricultural issues.
"Californians strongly support family farms and, in a survey conducted this year, voters agreed the state does too little to protect family farming," Pauli said. "We'll continue working to assure that state legislators understand the importance of family-owned farms and ranches, and that their votes more frequently reflect the need to protect the farming way of life."
Pauli said Gov. Schwarzenegger showed he understands the value of family farms, by vetoing bills that would have harmed farmers and by signing the farm-friendly measures that reached his desk.
"The governor clearly took notice of the message he heard from hundreds of Farm Bureau members, who contacted him regarding the bills that affected family farms," Pauli said. "He understands the need to protect our ability to provide safe, nutritious food."
The full 2005 Family Farm Scorecard may be viewed on the Farm Bureau Web site at www.cfbf.com. The site also provides a summary of the bills included in the organization's legislative scorecard.
The state's largest farm organization, the California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of 87,000 members statewide.
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