President's Message

May 2012

Hello!  What a wonderful time the Wine Tasting and Scholarship Event was!  A great turn out, great wine, great food, and Baxter Black was fantastic! Thanks are in order to Frank Roque and Panoche Creek Packing for a really great location to host our event.  A big thanks to all of our Sponsors; we couldn't do it without you!  And the biggest thanks to all who came out and supported our event –you make it possible to continue giving scholarships to students, assisting them in continuing their Ag educations –and eventually, giving back to this County.
Thanks also to Anja and Norma for the many hours and hard work they put in to make this event happen and to the MCFB Board of Directors for helping setting up and cleaning up after the event.
We have some good news from Madera Irrigation District; they will be starting water the week of May 21st.  To start this early is a blessing –considering where we thought we were in February. 

There is some other not so good water news however, a study commissioned by UC Davis found high nitrate levels on the coast around Salinas and in the Tulare lake bottom.  The State Assembly has a Bill going through Committee –AB 2174 that will deal with fertilizer impacts to ground water.

This Bill is a terrible bill for agriculture and the California Farm Bureau Federation is monitoring it.  Also a draft ground water order has been released by the State Water Resources Board and is described below by the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition:
“The Regional Water Board says that with the inclusion of groundwater in the Program, all owners or operators of irrigated lands will now need coverage either through an individual General Order or by joining a watershed coalition.  Called “third-party entities” in the draft document, watershed coalition’s such as ESJWQC will again represent landowners to maintain compliance with the regulations…Existing ESJWQC members will be grandfathered into the new program but will need to sign a document acknowledging that they are accepting coverage provided by the coalition.  Members will be notified about any documentation needed after the General Order is adopted in October.”
“Growers in the region not participating in the existing program will again have the option of filing for an individual permit with the Regional Water Board or joining the ESJWQC.  Coalition membership will be opened for a 90 day period after the new order is adopted.  Currently, growers must apply to the Regional Water Board and pay a $50 application fee before being allowed to join a coalition.  Suspended during the 90 day period, that practice will be reinstituted in January 2013.”
Please contact the office if you have any questions about this new requirement –but it pretty much means if you use water in ANY WAY –you need to become part of the Coalition.

At our May 9th Board Meeting, the board took action to file a lawsuit against the EIR that was approved for the High Speed Rail Project. 


A lot of things are happening at the MCFB. At our May 9th Board Meeting, the board took action to file a lawsuit against the EIR that was approved for the High Speed Rail Project.  The decision was discussed thoroughly and the feeling was that this action was necessary to get the CHSRA to properly respond to concerns raised by our members.  This will not be an easy task, but one we feel is necessary to ensure the viability of agriculture in Madera County.  In the coming months we will be asking you to help us financially in this fight.  We will not be alone in this lawsuit, other groups and other Farm Bureaus have expressed interest in joining us.  I hope you feel it is important enough to help also. 

If you have received letters from HSR requesting for permission to enter your please let us know, we want to help.  Please see Anja's message for more details.

In closing a little cowboy humor:
ALL I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED ON THE CATTLE RANGE
1. Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco.
2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.
3. There are 2 theories to arguing with a woman...neither works.
4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
5. Always drink upstream from the herd.
6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket.
8. There are three kinds of men:
- The ones who learn by reading.
- The few who learn by observation.
- The rest of them have to touch the electric fence to see if it's really on.
9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
10. If you're riding ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.

See Ya!

Tom Rogers