President’s Message – September 2012

Hi! September already, the year is flying by.  Harvest is here for nut crops and grapes –a busy time. The past few weeks have been hot and humid, which is tough on crops and people, I am ready for some normal as opposed to above normal temperatures. 

A lot of bills have been flying around in Sacramento.  One that was of great interest to the agriculture community was the overtime bill; it was defeated in the house and did not make it to the governor’s desk this year.  This is a huge win for the California Farm Bureaus as the bill would have actually had workers making LESS. 

There are still two heat illness bills that did make it through the legislature; don’t know what will happen to them, but if signed it will put additional burdens on growers.  Farm Bureau will be monitoring these closely and update our members as necessary.  We do provide regularly scheduled heat illness training and grower compliance seminars regularly!

The ground water management plans are getting closer to being a reality for us in the valley, the following is from a CURES newsletter that can be found on our website. Please take time to read it all, we will be working with its effects soon

This coalition (the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition) is the first of seven agricultural third-party entities working through the process of developing individual General Orders or Waste Discharge Requirements (WDR) over the next two years.  Each coalition’s order will be voted on individually by the sitting Water Board with an original vote on the eastside coalition set for October 4, 2012 –which has now been delayed until December based on strong stakeholder feedback.

High Speed Rail is still real and the Authority is attempting to move forward.  Several of our members have taken legal action to prevent the rail authority from accessing their land without permission with Farm Bureau’s assistance.  If you have received letters from the authority, please contact the Madera County Farm Bureau, we are here to help with information about your rights as a property owner.  No construction can occur until all lawsuits are settled, and no land acquisition can occur until they are all settled. They are far from being settled!  If you can make a donation to our lawsuit, it will help us protect the rights of our growers and preserve the valley as a great place to live and farm.

Final thought, well maybe not final

When something is “new and improved,” which is it?

If it’s new, then there wasn’t anything before it.

If it’s an improvement, then there must have been something before it.

Have a great month

See Ya!

Tom Rogers