San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation


A busy start as your president!


After a prolonged winter season of numerous weather events and the inability to accomplish much in the field, the month of May has been the turning point to begin this year's growing season. Planting is in full swing, tree crops are set, and growers can project crop estimates and plan inputs and marketing strategies accordingly. Cherry harvest is in its peak... and with a little luck, this year's crop may be one to remember with a smile!

As incoming SJFB president, the month of May was also a turning point as to the intensity of my involvement in Farm Bureau: The first week of the month was spent in Washington, D.C., representing SJFB in the San Joaquin Council of Governments ("C.O.G.") "One Voice" trip. We met with elected officials and cabinet representatives in a unified effort to lobby for San Joaquin County in such issues as transportation, water storage and delivery infrastructure.

The following Monday, my family and I were honored to be the first farming operation in California that hosted Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation and his wife Bonnie. CFBF President Paul Wenger and his wife Debbie, along with staff members.

After an interesting tour of cherry processing at Chinchiolo Stemilt California, LLC, discussions were held concerning the upcoming implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act ("FSMA"). Zippy was made aware of the problems and pitfalls of the law, as well as the affect that it will have on the many specialty crops grown in this county.

The following Friday, SJFB held its 103rd Annual Meeting at the Robert J. Cabral Agricultural Center. It was an event-filled night. Andrew Watkins presented Sheriff Steve Moore with the President's Award in recognition of his friendship and service to San Joaquin County agriculture. Elections of directors, officers and delegates to the CFBF Meeting were held. The SJFB Foundation for Agricultural Education awarded scholarships to local students in the amount of over $48,000.

I would like to recognize the board of the SJFB Foundation for Agricultural Education. All of their hard work makes funding of these scholarships possible, as well as the education of 30 teachers in this year's Ag in the Classroom program. Their work helps foster an understanding of agriculture to the general public. With a better understanding of how agriculture functions and its true importance to our community, we will have a much brighter future.

The end of the month brings a plethora of committee meetings in which to highlight areas that require our focus as an organization.

I am excited to work with my executive team consisting of Dave Strecker and Ken Vogel, along with the past presidents, and our Executive Director Bruce Blodgett; as well as the rest of our fine staff... as Farm Bureau represents the best interests of agriculture in San Joaquin County.