San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation

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Ensuring Washington hears us

BY JIM FERRARI, SJFB PRESIDENT

To say October has been a busy month is an understatement. Not only has walnut harvest been underway but we recently met with Ray Starling, President Trump's advisor on agriculture. He came out to our orchard for a tour and dinner joined by some representatives from the California and San Joaquin Farm Bureaus. 

This proved to be a great opportunity to speak frankly with him about over regulations and the issues that agriculture face. We talked a lot about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) discussing in great detail the difficulties and expense that this Act requires. As well as the far-reaching impact of agriculture turning to technology due to the increasing costs and shortages of labor. Starling seemed to be very engaged with what we were talking about and seems to be concerned with the issues we face. From this visit my son Joe will be traveling back to Washington D.C. later this month to work more on food safety. 

I also attended a presentation at the SJFB office from the Army Corps of Engineers to discuss Waters of the United States (WOTUS). It was well attended and quite eye opening for the Corps representative. Several members in attendance gave very detailed encounters with the Corps; including lack of response, lack of satisfactory answers and most important, inconsistencies when passing judgment (or fines) on farmerss and ranchers. To the representative's credit they listened and stated that, “that isn't how it should be.” Hopefully they are willingly to do something about it and we might just might see some change out of their office.  

Even though harvest will be winding down in the next couple weeks, I will be very busy as I prepare to head to Anaheim for the California Farm Bureau Federation 99th Annual Meeting in early December. Our delegates will be meeting soon to discuss some of the topics that will come before the group including cannabis and an election for a new CFBF President. 

Lastly, our county will be well represented at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Conference this coming January in Nashville, Tennessee! My son Joe Ferrari is the 2017 Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award recipient and Amy and Tyler Blagg are the 2017 Excellence in Agriculture Award recipient. Congratulations to these young people who put in so much time and are truly dedicated to agriculture.   And with that I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!