By Joe Scoto & Breanne Ramos
It’s no secret Merced County has a strong agriculture sector and because of that Merced County Farm Bureau was formed to ensure agriculture would remain viable long term. In 2017, we were able to continue that as we voiced our viewpoints on a number of issues throughout levels of government.
At the federal level we, along with other county farm bureaus throughout the state, were able to sit down with Ray Starling, National Economic Council’s Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture due to efforts made by California Farm Bureau Federation. During this first visit, Mr. Starling was able to learn about California agriculture, as it is drastically different than the farm he grew up on in North Carolina. We covered specific topics not limited to immigration, NAFTA, milk order, ag theft and water issues.
We’ve held meetings with elected officials such as Congressman Costa and routinely welcome in staff from Costa, Cannella and Gray’s offices to our board meetings. Issues on immigration, water needs and NAFTA have been covered here as well. Sitting down with our county officials is also done on a consistent basis to discuss the issues impacting you at the county level. We continue to keep a close eye on legislation that comes down and determines how it will affect our membership. A working relationship with all levels is key to remaining a vital component to Merced County.
We need to know your concerns and struggles for us to better educate those in office. This is also why membership is important to our organization, as without you, we have no voice. There has never been a time in our lives where keeping the family farm in tact has been as important. Farm Bureau is the only grassroots organization in the state that fights for the protection of the family farm, allowing farmers and ranchers to produce the safest food in the world. No matter if you farm or want to simply support those in farming around you to produce a safe food supply; you can be a member of Farm Bureau. Membership in our organization is one of the best investments anyone that eats, drinks and wears clothes can make. We welcome you into our office to voice your concerns or questions.
On Thursday, March 15, the Merced County Farm Bureau will celebrate 101 years of service to Merced County agriculture. Along with celebrating our past successes and looking toward the future, we will install our new Board of Directors and recognize our scholarship students who will pursue an education in an agricultural field. We are fortunate to have guests such as CFBF officers and longtime journalist Dan Walters. If you have questions about our organization, upcoming events or would like to purchase tickets to our Annual Meeting, please call our office at (209) 723-3001.
Joe Scoto is the Board President of the Merced County Farm Bureau. Breanne Ramos is the MCFB Executive Eirector. She can be reached at 723-3001 or [email protected]