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Ask not what we can do for you...

By David Strecker, SJFB President 

On Jan. 20, 1961. President John F. Kennedy made a simple yet very profound statement.

“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you ­— ask what you can do for your Country.”

For over 100 years, San Joaquin Farm Bureau has been here fighting for you. This president’s column has repeatedly been used telling the membership how we are working at the local, state and federal levels supporting your rights as agriculturists. I have only written a few articles, yet each month I find myself deciding which huge topic we must discuss. In between my monthly article, it is amazing how much your SJFB staff is able to accomplish before you are even aware there was a new regulation headed your way.

Some battles take longer…. I am as frustrated as all of you when it comes to water, labor and urban encroachment. However, I want you to know, that the staff and SJFB Board of Directors are engaged and committed to working for you.

So why am I quoting President John F. Kennedy?

San Joaquin Farm Bureau is always fighting for you and promoting what we can do as an organization. However, we need your help! The most important part of our organization is the membership. It is the sole reason we even exist. Unifying ourselves as one voice will only make us stronger.

At the last SJFB Annual Meeting in June, we introduced the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation Farmers United PAC. Everything is in place and filed with the State of California and the IRS. We are now looking for your involvement. Before the Farmers United PAC, there was no local group with the legal authority to participate where it matters most. LOCAL ELECTIONS!

There are several Political Action Committees engaged at the state and federal levels. However, it is difficult to engage at that level when you have only first met. With term limits, our state and congressional representatives are now coming from our local boards and councils. The need to invest in the right candidates moving forward greatly enhances our position and standing with those who will represent us in the future.

Since taking over as president of SJFB, members have consistently been talking about the 2020 elections. “What if he or she is elected?” “Who is going to fill that position?” What if he or she is not elected?” We have to engage ourselves locally. The Farmers United PAC will only position ourselves as a stronger voice. Starting at the local level gives us a solid presence and lays the foundation to influence at all levels of government in the future

My family has farmed on Roberts Island for over 135 years. I plan on allowing my family to continue to do that for as long as they want and I have personally already contributed to the Farmers United PAC. I am only here because of the decisions and actions that my parents and grandparents made. We now must unite and work together for our families and our community’s future. Pledge Cards are available at the counter in the SJFB office or you may check out the Farmers United PAC webpage at www.sjfb.org to see how to participate.

Moving forward, it is not what San Joaquin Farm Bureau is going to do for you, it is what can you do for all of agriculture in San Joaquin County.