PO BOX 71498
Supporting more than 2.5 million jobs statewide.
Protecting Family Farms
California’s family farmers and ranchers are a vital part of the statewide economy and local communities. In the course of providing people with the finest quality and most affordable food, fiber and foliage in the world, we also support more than 2.5 million jobs statewide and more than $43.5 billion in crop value alone—all while acting as stewards of California soil, water, air and open space.
Whether you represent a community involved in the production of food products, are home to one of the ports that ship California-grown products all over the world, or are one of the 38 million California consumers of the food, fiber or foliage we produce, you have a stake in the future of California family farms and ranches.
As a grassroots organization, the Farm Bureau represents and protects the farming and ranching way of life by influencing policy at all levels of government. To ensure that California’s agricultural heritage is maintained and protected, we have developed the following major policy goals.
COMPETING FOR THE FUTURE
The vast majority of California’s farms and ranches—more than 90%—are family-owned businesses, thus the first and foremost goal in protecting them is helping them stay in business. That’s why the Farm Bureau is committed to fighting onerous regulations, fees, taxes and policies that drive up the
cost of farming supplies and services which ultimately increase the cost of food for
FARM BUREAU ENCOURAGES:
- Efforts to take into account the economic impacts of regulatory compliance
- A cost-benefit analysis of new regulations
- Improved government efficiency based upon sound, peer-reviewed science
- Preservation of the two-thirds vote requirement to increase taxes and fees
- Maintaining equitable insurance and workers compensation insurance rates
- Regulatory reform that results in the development and use of efficient and cost-effective forms of energy and fuels
- State budget reform to end excessive government spending, taxes disguised as “fees,” and the raiding of county coffers in response to state budget deficits
COMMUNICATING THE VALUE OF FARMLAND
California’s land, water, air and wildlife all benefit from the management practices undertaken by farmers and ranchers. As our members work to conserve and enhance the natural resources integral to their operations, Farm Bureau is committed to conveying the important public benefits working landscapes provide, such as wildlife habitat, preserved open space, improved air quality, water and soil resources, carbon sequestration and a safe, nutritious and affordable food supply.
FARM BUREAU SUPPORTS:
- Protecting the integrity of the Williamson Act, the state’s most successful farmland preservation program
- Enforcing the California Environmental Quality Act to conserve farming and ranching resources as a part of the existing environment
- Right-to-farm ordinances that allow existing farms and ranches to maintain their operations as urban areas encroach upon them
- Policies that protect farmland from being consumed by competing uses and activities such as solar development, high-speed rail, flood protection and other infrastructure projects
- Conducting research to develop an environmental trading program that recognizes the positive contributions made by farmers and ranchers to reduce greenhouse gasses
- Enhancing wildlife on working farms and ranches where it can safely co-exist with the products grown
- Promoting healthy rangelands and forests through cooperative management of public lands between government agencies
- Maintaining flood-protection systems in order to protect public safety, wildlife habitat and open space
ENSURING FARMERS CAN GROW AND MARKET THEIR PRODUCTS
While California farmers and ranchers are often at a disadvantage with the high cost of doing business, Farm Bureau is committed to ensuring farmers and ranchers have a reliable, stable and legal work-force as well as innovative tools and technologies to grow, harvest and market their products while competing with other states and nations.
FARM BUREAU ENCOURAGES:
- Access to necessary production tools such as crop protection materials, fertilizers and biotechnology
- Effective programs to inspect and prevent the intended or accidental introduction of pests and diseases that might threaten plant or animal health
- Direct marketing of agricultural products at farmers markets and other venues
- International trade agreements that are equitable and will open new sales or expand existing markets for California products
- Passage of federal immigration reform to provide a stable, legal agricultural work-force
- Prevention of injury and illness through worker health and safety training
- Enhancing career technical education to ensure California has the necessary work-force to carry out the increasingly technical jobs associated with agricultural production
- Reform tax policy that enables the transfer of agricultural operations to the next generation
CONNECTING CONSUMERS WITH THEIR FOOD
With more than 400 different crops produced in California, Farm Bureau is committed to helping consumers understand where their food comes from, the challenges associated with producing a safe, affordable food supply and to ensuring consumer confidence in California-grown products.
FARM BUREAU SUPPORTS:
- Local marketing of agricultural products at farmers’ markets and other venues where consumers can connect with farmers and ranchers
- Providing consumers with the freedom to choose between products grown in all types of agriculture production systems
- Country-of-origin food labeling that provides consumers with the information needed to make informed purchasing decisions
- Effective research and development to continue improving the taste, quality, convenience and safety of California-grown food and fiber products
- Research, education and public outreach through California Bountiful, a non-profit foundation whose purpose and goal is to bridge the gap between food producers and consumers
- Efforts by the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom to educate students and teachers on how their food is grown and marketed
PROVIDING RESOURCES FOR FARMS AND RURAL COMMUNITIES
Balancing the needs of a growing population, the needs of farms and ranches and the needs of the environment requires Farm Bureau to be committed to public and private investments in water and infrastructure improvements that support a healthy economy and environment, all the while helping residents understand and appreciate the economic and cultural values of rural communities.
FARM BUREAU ENCOURAGES:
- Statewide infrastructure projects that take into account optimal compatibility with farms and ranches
- Developing new water supplies, both aboveground and underground, improved conveyance systems and continued advances in water use efficiency
- Improved roads, railways and ports to transport goods and people efficiently
- Programs to encourage economic development in rural communities where unemployment rates are the highest
- Government budgets that ensure California’s rural communities receive their fair share of public investments in public safety, education, transportation, infrastructure and other critical services
- Improved access to quality health care in rural communities where there is a shortage of primary care physicians
- Programs to reduce rural crime and illegal dumping
FARM BUREAU: WORKING TO PROTECT FAMILY FARMS AND RANCHES
The California Farm Bureau Federation is a non-governmental, non-profit, voluntary membership California corporation whose purpose is to protect and promote agricultural interests throughout the state of California and to find solutions to the problems of the farm, the farm homes and the rural community. Farm Bureau is California’s largest farm organization, comprised of 53 county Farm Bureaus currently representing approximately 30,000 farm families and individual members in 56 counties.
Farm Bureau strives to protect and improve the ability of farmers and ranchers engaged in production agriculture to provide a reliable supply of food and fiber through responsible stewardship of California’s resources.
Farm Bureau is organized on a county, state and national basis; in that order. The policies and programs of Farm Bureau are developed from grassroots recommendations originating at the county Farm Bureau level. From these recommendations, policy positions are prepared and submitted to the CFBF House of Delegates for action. Resolutions approved by the House of Delegates on state matters become CFBF policy while national matters are forwarded to the
American Farm Bureau Federation for consideration.
The CFBF Board of Directors determines a program of activities based on actions of the House of Delegates. Elements of the CFBF and county Farm Bureau programs can include government affairs work, legal review and involvement, membership outreach, public education and leadership development.