Praying for prosperity in 2020

By David Strecker, SJFB President

This past year has been an eventful year. I sense most of us are glad that the New Year is now upon us and it is a time to look forward to the possibilities that await us in the 2020 crop year.

As we went through October and November, I was beginning to think that we were never going to see rain for the rest of 2019. Just two days before the first rain, I could barely see the edge of the field I was working due to the dust and high winds. Now I wish I would have had time to pull a ditch.

Just a few years ago, we were all praying for rain. Three years ago, I spent the early part of the year on levee patrol and just this past spring, the cherry growers of our county don’t even want to discuss rain. I think we are all hoping that these rains at the end 2019 are a good start to a new growing year with plenty of water for all but not too much that we have another year of losses.

Whether you are waiting for your crop to bloom or, getting ready to place a seed in the ground or your barn is full of your next generation of livestock, I pray 2020 is a prosperous one.

Another thing to look forward to for the new year is our trade markets are going to start to look better. Progress is being made with China and Congress finally took the USMCA to a vote and it passed. I’ve been part of several discussions regarding trade. New deals had to be made. I know not everyone is happy with the way it was done, but the new trade deals that are being put in place will help all of us with the sale of our commodities.

Politically speaking, 2019 has set up the 2020 elections to be epic. I’m not going to make any specific predications regarding the upcoming elections, but I will say you are going to see a lot of changes, locally, at the state, as well as the federal level. We can’t win every battle that we face but your San Joaquin Farm Bureau has been well engaged with our representative at each of these levels. Once we are through this election cycle, we will continue working at each of these levels to help your agricultural operation.

For once I can say that water, weather and trade were not the most discussed topic at Farm Bureau. Have you heard about hemp? A lot of progress has been made to make hemp a commodity for you to consider growing. However, what may be perceived as progress in some ways has created more questions about hemp and possibly have made it hard to grow in the immediate future.

I don’t know where hemp will be in five years, however, if you are looking to grow it in 2020, you need to be sure that all of your questions are answered. San Joaquin Farm Bureau will help where we can, but it is going to take time before hemp can be easily grown in our county and even the state. The only advice I can give at this time is buyer beware!

In all honesty, water is probably the most discussed topic at Farm Bureau. It has been for some time and will be for the immediate future.

SGMA is here! The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is going to have adverse effects across this state. I am proud of the people working on our local water. From the managers at our Irrigation Districts to the water attorneys, to even our local county supervisors, we have some of the best people working to ensure a quality water supply for us.

Other parts of the state are facing much more than we are, but San Joaquin Farm Bureau is not relaxing when it come to fighting for your water. From the foothills to the Delta, and from the almond orchards to the vineyards we will keeping working for you to prosper in your farming operation.

Happy New Year. I hope this coming year is one you and your family can smile about.