Farm Bureau leader: Family farmers must continue to speak out
» December 3, 2007 «
While laying out an ambitious list of priorities for 2008, the leader of the state's largest farm organization urged family farmers and ranchers to remain active and vocal in seeking solutions to the challenges they face.
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California Farm Bureau Federation President Doug Mosebar spoke today at the organization's 89th Annual Meeting in Sparks, Nev. Mosebar, who farms in Santa Ynez, said family farmers have responded to an ever-changing world by engaging in community affairs, meeting with elected officials and other leaders to demonstrate the need to keep California agriculture vital.
"Each one of us has the ability with a simple handshake and a well-thought-out message to make a difference," he said, "and many of you have done just that by speaking out on water, land, labor and many other issues."
Mosebar said Farm Bureau has "vigorously represented" farmers' interests in a variety of water planning processes, court cases and negotiations for a proposed water bond measure.
"We know that California faces a water crisis that conservation alone won't solve and that is why we are actively engaged in legislative negotiations to ensure that any proposal sent to voters includes sufficient funds and clear authorization for an adequate increase in statewide surface storage, while also providing protections for delta farms," he said.
Another 2008 priority will be passage of a ballot initiative, co-sponsored by Farm Bureau, to reform the government property-seizure process known as eminent domain. Mosebar said the organization will "work diligently" to pass the California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act, which will prohibit government agencies from seizing property in order to grant it to another private owner. He said the initiative will "protect private property and water rights."
Farm Bureau will renew its push for passage of a federal immigration-reform proposal known as AgJOBS, Mosebar said, in order to ensure farmers have access to "a reliable and legal workforce." He cited work by farmers and Farm Bureau staff to describe turmoil in the nation's farm labor market to elected officials and the news media and predicted that "this heightened awareness by the public and elected officials will help as reform efforts continue."
Mosebar said Farm Bureau will harness "our ability to engage leaders in every county in the state, our core of passionate volunteers and our leadership in speaking out on critical issues" to pursue its priorities in the coming year.
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of 91,000 members statewide.
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