During the last few months, we have certainly seen some unbelievable occurrences throughout the United States, from flooding in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico to wildfires throughout the West, capped by the rampant fires we have seen devastate our North Coast region and other parts of California. Farmers and ranchers have shown their resiliency by adapting to and recovering from challenges like these for years, and once again they will rise from the floodplains and from the ashes and build successful businesses. That’s just in their DNA and their make-up. Though farmers and ranchers have always had to deal with the unpredictable ravages of Mother Nature and other things beyond our control, some of the things that challenge agriculture are within our ability to influence. But to do that, we need to engage. The issues of overregulation, water supply and reliability, and water quality are just a few of the issues we have continued to work on during the 20 years I have served as a California Farm Bureau Federation officer.
One of the issues that often seems to be within our grasp, yet always comes up short, is the issue of immigration reform. We have frequently expressed to those in power in Washington, D.C., that our immigration system is broken and that no matter what pay rates our farms or ranches offer, U.S.-born employees will not perform the seasonal work that many California farms must offer. Not since 1986 has there been any congressional action on immigration reform, and it’s long overdue. Read more