In welcoming Farm Bureau members to the first meeting of the second century of the California Farm Bureau Federation, CFBF President Jamie Johansson said the organization would continue to advocate on behalf of science, improved state and federal policies, and unity in agriculture. Johansson spoke today during the 101st CFBF Annual Meeting in Monterey.
Noting the recent 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion that led to the end of World War II, Johansson pointed to the crucial role farmers and ranchers had played in the immediate aftermath of the war.
“When it came time to rebuild the world, re-establish stability, agriculture was where they turned,” he said, adding that scientific and technological advancements had made that possible.
“We have succeeded because agriculture has defended the change science has brought, and adopted it and adapted to it, in the last 75 years,” he said. “The challenge before Farm Bureau now is defending the science on our farms.”
Johansson noted Gov. Gavin Newsom’s veto this year of Senate Bill 1, which sought to preserve state environmental and labor standards from federal changes initiated by the Trump administration.
“We’re not going to freeze the science,” he said. “We’re going to move our science forward.”
Johansson expressed optimism about a planned House of Representatives vote this week on the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which would address short- and long-term shortages of agricultural employees, and urged the House to vote before the end of the year on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade.
He counseled farm groups to work together in assuring production of nutritious food products.
“It’s not about whether you eat an organic carrot or a conventional carrot. It’s about eating the carrot and not the Cheeto,” he said.
Johansson said Farm Bureau would maintain the active advocacy that drew farmers and ranchers to the organization.
“At the core of what makes a California Farm Bureau member is not an individual who accepts the current politics of our state and nation, but an individual who wants to change the politics and the direction of our state and our country,” he said.