Farm Bureau Leader Urges Farmers to Stay Involved, Engaged
» December 7, 2004 «
Ag's Future Depends on Their Participation
The president of the state's largest farm organization called on farmers and ranchers to be involved and engaged when it comes to solving the challenging issues facing California agriculture. He told them it was vital for their future.
"When I think about our big picture issues, I think about strength in agriculture and that is our message today. We have to be involved and engaged," California Farm Bureau Federation President Bill Pauli said, in his annual report to delegates attending the group's Annual Meeting in Sparks, Nevada. "If we don't think about these issues, we won't be here in five or 10 or 20 years from now. We have to think about where we are going and how we survive."
Pauli, a Mendocino County winegrape grower, said the key to a strong future for California agriculture is for farmers and ranchers to think first about the marketplace and identify commodities that will help them be successful.
"Collectively as producers we need to find a way to sell our products. Do we grow for ourselves and for our fathers, or do we grow for the markets, new markets and new processors? We must think value-added production and processing," he said. "Look around the room. Who is surviving? Who is prospering? It is the people who are doing value-added growing, processing and producing--that is the future."
The farm leader gave delegates an update regarding Farm Bureau's efforts in the political arena, welcoming the re-election of President Bush and noting Farm Bureau's stepped-up participation in several competitive state elections. Pauli explained that anti-biotechnology initiatives were defeated in three counties due to farmers' ability to communicate to local voters about the importance of agriculture.
During his address, Pauli praised Farm Bureau members, staff at the state and county levels, and fellow officers for their dedication to the organization.
"We have never been better positioned than we are today. We have never been stronger than we are today. We have outstanding leadership at the county level. We have an outstanding board of directors and officers. We have outstanding staff at the county and state level. We have the resources available to take on the challenges that we face," Pauli said.
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