By Colleen Sunbury
SJFB Marketing and Administrative Assistant
There is a quote that states "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link." This quote holds true to many teams, clubs and organizations who are fighting for something. Whether it's the United States Olympic Swim Team fighting for another first place in Rio or our Farm Bureau staff fighting for another legislative victory in Sacramento, we count on each other to pull through and get the gold.
This is why we are counting on our members to do their part and step up in supporting San Joaquin County Farm Bureau.
For the past 102 years that the SJFB has been fighting and advocating for agriculture it has always had a membership structure comprised of basic membership levels. Today these basic levels are agricultural memberships, business memberships and associate memberships. However, over the past 102 years the fight has grown increasingly more difficult for anyone on the agricultural side, especially at the local level. It is vital for the agricultural industry that we work together, as a united voice, to protect our livelihood and to make sure our industry is just as strong for future generations.
Funding this fight is far from easy and we are asking our members to step up and help protect this industry that is so important to all of us. Our dedicated Board of Directors has looked into the ways different organizations structure their dues. Some organizations charge a per acre fee, some charge a fee based on gross annual income, some even charge a fee based on the weight of the commodity, while others have dues based on a % taken out of a monthly check. All of these systems make the membership have an equal value to all members.
After looking over all of these different dues structures, while considering the numerous different commodities, acreage and business types that our organization represents, we came up with the "Step Up Plan."
The "Step Up Plan" is the new organizational structure for the agricultural membership level. Within the step up plan the base rate for agricultural members will remain at our current due amount of $250. However, the plan will then include different categories within the Agricultural Membership Level, these categories are based on Annual Gross Income.
If a member has an annual gross income of $500,000 or less they will fall in the $250 category.
If a member has an annual gross income between $500,000 and $1 million they will fall in the $500 category. This membership level also includes one bonus subscription of the SJFB News.
If a member has an annual gross income between $1 million and $2 million they will fall in the $1,000 category. This membership level also includes two bonus subscriptions of the SJFB News.
Lastly, if a member has an annual gross income higher than $2 million they will fall in the $1,500 category. This membership level also includes three bonus subscriptions of the SJFB News.
While it is impossible for us to know the actual gross income of any of our members, this structure is a recommendation for what you should be paying and is based on your honesty and your willingness to step up and help agriculture fight against the numerous regulations that some local and state legislators are trying to implement on our farms and ranches.
The new dues structure will be implemented at the beginning of our next membership year, which is in November 2016.
We ask all of our members to step up to their appropriate category. Step up to keep our chain strong. Step up to better our 102 year old grassroots organization. Step up to fight and protect the family farm and ranch.
The fight is far from over!