By Bruce Fry, SJFB President
Late summer/early fall is the time of year I enjoy the most as a farmer. It's harvest time! Yeah, its long hours and dirty work, but that is what we love as agriculturalists. You get to see the benefits of all the hard work you put in throughout the year when the harvester moves through the field harvesting the crop.
This is when the change happens: from a crop to income dollars, from the season of summer to fall, 4-Hers and FFAers are going through the tough change of selling their animals at the fair, bills [which there are too many already in the State of California] are being signed into law or vetoed, voters have the chance to make many changes at the ballot box in November and you as members of the Farm Bureau get to vote whether or not we are doing are job protecting and representing farmers and ranchers by renewing your membership.
Change happens and change is sometimes hard to deal with. But, we as farmers and ranchers always seem to adapt to the changes. But, in the political arena there does come a time when enough is enough, especially with all these ridiculous bills up in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. It's time to say NO! No more taxes, NO more regulations, NO more unbalanced budgets, NO more HSR and finally NO more peripheral canal!
To change gears, I would like to mention that two of our Farm Bureau board members are being honored this year at the Stockton Chamber of Commerce, San Joaquin County Agricultural Hall of Fame: Henry Long and David Simpson. Both have been advocates of San Joaquin County and have done many things in our community. I would like to also mention Bruce Burlington of Lodi who owns and operates San Joaquin Sulfur/Quantum Irrigation and last but not least, one of my parents' best friends, Gail Kautz of John Kautz Farms/Ironstone Vineyards. I could fill this whole newspaper on all the things they have done for Farm Bureau, agriculture and our local community, but, you should attend the Oct. 18 dinner at the Robert Cabral Ag Center and hear it in person. Congratulations; well deserved!
Just a quick updated on issues Farm Bureau has been dealing with lately:
- Wineries: working on updating the San Joaquin County Winery ordinance [to stop event centers, not wineries, from being permitted to operate in the agricultural zone];
- Forward Landfill: reviewing the draft EIR on expanding the dump on Williamson Act property;
- San Joaquin General Plan Update: starting to finish the long process, possibly done by mid to late Spring 2013;
- Water: BDCP workshops, ag waiver program, the canal, water rights; and
- Solar Panels being permitted on prime agricultural land and much much more!
Please contact the Farm Bureau office if you have any questions on these events.