You can make an impact in our elections

By David Strecker, SJFB President

In 1996, I participated in my first presidential election. As a bright-eyed 20-year-old, I thought I knew everything and had the answer to everything. So currently, my first ever and most recent presidential elections have resulted in an impeachment hearing and inquiry. In between, there were hanging chads and broken promises. Today I realize that I don’t know everything but my participation in an election is important.

In 2018, the San Joaquin Farm Bureau participated in endorsing candidates for San Joaquin Delta College’s Board of Trustees. Both of the Trustees we worked with were elected to the Board of Trustees. One of the first things the trustees had to participate in was the hiring of a new president.

I have had the pleasure to meet with Dr. Omid Pourzanjani a few times now. Each conversation was regarding the Agriculture Department and school farm for Delta College. His enthusiasm and dedication to providing opportunities for local students is exactly why your County Farm Bureau got involved with Delta Colleges Board of Trustees. The future is bright for Delta College and with the recent hiring that has taken place, we should all look forward to watching the Ag Department and school farm take shape.

San Joaquin Farm Bureau recently provided a County Ag Tour for Delta Colleges Board of Trustees, administration and staff. Many local businesses and Farm Bureau members participated and it was an eye-opening experience for Delta College that there is a tremendous need for highly skilled workers in many aspects of agriculture. From PCA’s to technicians to the people who sell our finished products it will be nice to have local students trained properly for the local jobs that are in demand.

Working with Delta College is the perfect example of why it is important in participating in elections. Politicians at the state and federal level have taken notice to San Joaquin Farm Bureaus participation with Delta College. In some cases, local elections may be more important than at the state or federal level.

Often enough, our local elected officials move up the political ladder. Having a strong working relationship with local representatives is helping direct what our future will look like. Having the right people in the right positions at the city and county level can help shelter us from some of the state and federal positions that may not be so favorable to agriculture.

I truly understand how disappointing it can be when the wrong person may be in a position in Sacramento or Washington, D.C. However, if we work hard at the local level, our voices will be heard. A state Assembly member or a local Congressional member can see what sort of impact a local Farm Bureau can have. If we continue to help shape our local instructional institutions and stand up for ourselves to county regulation and fees, our farms and ranches will survive.

You have already been introduced to your new local Political Action Committee, San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federations Farmers United. Harvest checks should be rolling in now. I know not every year is a bumper crop. However, to continue our operations, now is the time to make a contribution to the SJFB Farmers United PAC.

I, just like you, need to budget my year. I, too, sometime face the unexpected. As I write this article, my main tractor is in the shop facing extensive repairs that could result in a check with several zeros. Your crop may need an unexpected application, your herd may need medication that you didn’t plan for. Participating with the Farmers United PAC should be part of your planning for the new year. Despite not knowing my tractor would be sick, I have already made a contribution to the Farmers United PAC and will be making another.

San Joaquin County has a few very important positions up for election in the new year. When planning for 2020, 2021 and beyond, please help shape the future of your family operation as well as our brothers and sisters across the county that love their agricultural operations just as much as you love yours. Standing together, we are STRONGER!