Happy May! 2012 is already flying by and the MCFB can proudly put the lid on another successful Wine Tasting and Scholarship event! Over 750 tickets were sold, lots of wine was poured, dinner was phenomenal –thank you Madera Custom Catering –and Baxter Black was as funny as croutons on a cowpie! This event was a tremendous success –once again assisting 6 local students in pursuing their dreams of seeking an agricultural education. We hope everyone had fun –but watch out for next year! Big plans are already in the works. It’s never too late to donate to MCFB’s Scholarship Fund –we graciously accept tax-deductible contributions every day of the year!
But now back to business. The Madera County Farm Bureau Board has voted to enter into a litigation challenge against the California High Speed Rail Authority (Authority); claiming a strong deficiency in the Authority’s environmental review process under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This legal action was not considered lightly –but the MCFB Board feels that the bedrock system of agriculture production and Madera County’s way of life is greatly jeopardized by this Project. The untold and unanalyzed impacts throughout the environmental documents will have everlasting impacts on ag production, land values, water supply, and transportation resources.
The MCFB Board believes that this is one of the last remaining options to get the Authority to heed to the requests of the residents of Madera County. MCFB maintains and operates a legal “rainy” day fund for occasions such as this. If you or any of your neighbors desires to assist the MCFB in our attempt to stop this monster of a project –every little bit helps.
Please contact the office if you wish to receive more information or to donate. All donors will be provided with regular status updates on the progress of the lawsuit, along with budget summaries for the action.
As President Rogers mentioned in his address, change is rapidly coming to all water users, both for users of groundwater and for discharging irrigators. If you haven’t enrolled in the Watershed Coalition –you have approximately 90 days to do so! The East San Joaquin Regional Water Quality Coalition (ESJWQC), to which members in Madera County belong, protect water users from unnecessary fines and penalties associated with water use and discharge.
This will now apply to groundwater users as well –so if you own or operate a well –your days of basking in the regulation free sun have come to an end. The ESJWQC will be maintaining compliance with onerous State Water Resource Board requirements for groundwater uses as well so you don’t have to! If you have any questions, please contact the office as soon as possible and we can help get you set up with this extremely useful program.
Since cowboy poetry is still in the air and Madera County farmers and ranchers face multiple challenges and attacks relentlessly while trying to preserve their quality of life, I will leave you with a perfect, identifying quote from Baxter Black in light of our need to persevere through these rough tribulations,
“Do not overlook small towns if you have the advantage of choosing where you want to live.”
Deciding where we choose to enjoy living our out lives is a right –and this right to the style of life we’ve chosen must be protected.
Anja K. Raudabaugh