After a warm welcome –I am thrilled to hit the ground running with the Madera County Farm Bureau! With great fortune and the best of directed intentions, I have the distinguished honor to continue to focus my energies on California’s Central Valley agri-business sector.
My family has been the proud owners of an 8,000 acre cow-calf operation in Merced County for over 150 years. Fully diversified for the last 100 years, we grow a variety of forage crops for the operation –including, oat hay, alfalfa, wheat, barley and rye. Specialty crops are also on the menu as my family maintains property in various berry production and rootstock operations. Throughout the years I am proud to say I’ve assisted with various battles facing agricultural operations in the Valley on behalf of my family’s and the industry’s interests. Ranging from heated imminent domain battles, to equally fiery water wars; my family’s ranch has served as my personal barometer for all things relevant in my employment passions.
During my political tenure with Fmrs. Senator Dick Monteith and Congressman Doug Ose, I was fortunate to work on California’s agricultural issues; ranging from extensive public outreach forums and campaigns, to the detailed underpinnings of all statutory regulations related to the industry. My unique combination of having an agricultural background and a BioChemistry degree qualified me to be on the leading end of a highly publicized “sound science” campaign for political hot-button issues associated with Methyl Bromide regulations, BSE and Mad-Cow Disease, Glassy-Winged Sharp Shooter Awareness and Response, border regulations associated with diseases, carbon and Ozone emission regulations with the CARB and EPA, and Wild and Scenic Riverine criteria for the State of California and its agricultural stakeholders.
I was fortunate enough to serve under Fmr. Congressman Ose, who was then Vice –Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture (2000-2006) in Washington D.C., giving me access to an unprecedented new range of agricultural policy issues nationwide, and an unwavering capacity to advocate for California’s Central Valley on a national podium. Having played a critical part in the developing the policy authorizations of the 2002 Farm Bill and its regulation development, along with a multitude of other key legislative issues such as COOL, and USAID, my capacity for understanding how agricultural is impacted, regarded, and assisted through careful workshop planning, listening sessions, committee hearings, and many un-publicized horse-trades on the national and local level is unique.
My private sector experience working for engineering, design, and planning firms proved to round my learning experience in the agricultural, engineering, and regulatory sides of the agricultural industry. My fluidity in permitting, both state and Federal, allow me to understand how this process currently dominates the industry’s ability to prosper and survive in everyday operations. My ability to navigate discharge permits, habitat permits and mitigation, and flood control permits –along with speaking fluent CEQA and NEPA parlance, will aid me in being an asset to MCFB. My hope is that the MCFB will benefit from my extensive water rights knowledge and ability to leverage statutory legal understanding compared to agency over bearing and broad assumption.
MCFB will be expanding its list of services exponentially to include grant application services, permit processing and assistance services, and other regulatory assistance that will be necessary to ensure a robust and viable agriculture sector in Madera County.
We will also be focusing some renewed energy into specialty reports in the paper–so please look for some exciting new changes to your monthly paper.
I am delighted to accept this task to enrich my immersion with California agriculture. Please stop by, say hi and give me your feedback –all comments are welcome!
Anja K. Raudabaugh