President’s Message – January 2012

Happy New Year!  My resolution for 2012 – procrastinate more, starting tomorrow.

I hope everyone had a great Holiday Season and is ready for a New Year.  One thing we are really ready for is rain.  We had more rain last June than we had in December, and none so far in January.  And no rain is predicted in the long-range forecast.  One of the Old Farmer’s Almanacs calls for heavy rain at the end of January and above average rainfall in February and March.  If the forecast is correct, it will help with our water supply but make spring bloom very interesting.  It would be really great if we had more water storage to see us through times like this.  Last January, I had ¾ of my ranch under water and today I am irrigating.

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, February 28th!  The Madera County Farm Bureau is hosting the Honorable Islam Siddiqui, Chief Agricultural Trade Negotiator for the United States Trade Representative’s Office.  Ambassador Siddiqui is responsible for bi-lateral and multi-lateral negotiations and policy coordination concerning all nation-wide agricultural trade in the United States.  Other local and industry related speakers will also be in attendance focusing on key trade related issues for California and Madera County.  The Agricultural Trade Summit will be held at the State Center Community College Madera Center Auditorium from 9:00 am – 11:30 am and is open and free to the public.

High Speed Rail Update! The authority has approved their preferred alignment through Madera County as of December 13, 2011 and Farm Bureau has acquired an in-house map of properties and parcels to be affected.  Members may request the map by calling Farm Bureau directly to see if their property is in the right-of-way path for this alignment.  Please get involved as much as possible to protect your property as proactively as possible!

Flood Prevention Update –The Farm Bureau has been working with the County, State and Federal regulatory agencies to streamline the permitting process for clearing out creeks and doing flood maintenance work within the legal limits of the law.  This information is now available on the Farm Bureau’s website or can be obtained by calling the Farm Bureau.  It is important to note that Farm Bureau members MUST work through the County before setting out on any flood improvements themselves in order to be protected under this flood maintenance streamlining process.

The Farm Bureau will be hosting several Safety Trainings in the next couple of months so make sure to mark your calendars and register your employees early:
Here is a list of the upcoming trainings:

  • February 7th – Agricultural Hazmat Training – English / Spanish
  • February 16th – Pesticide Hazard Training – English
  • February 17th –  Pesticide Hazard Training – Spanish
  • April 11th – Annual Workers Safety Training – English / Spanish

One more exciting upcoming event is our 13th Annual Wine Tasting.  This year the Farm Bureau will be hosting legendary cowboy poet and comedian Baxter Black, for the evening –so mark your calendars for Saturday, May 5th!  This will be a fun-filled event with all the money raised going towards scholarships for Madera County students.

Besides procrastinating more this year, I have found some exercises I am qualified to do:  Jumping on the bandwagon; running around in circles; pushing my luck; spinning my wheels; beating my head against the wall; dragging my heels; and jumping to conclusions.  Hope it’s a great month!

See Ya!

Tom Rogers

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