The San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation is a 501 (c) 5 non-profit corporation that was established in 1914. We were the second County Farm Bureau in the state to be formed. The California Farm Bureau Federation was formed in 1919 at a meeting of County Farm Bureau’s in our state.
County Farm Bureau’s were established as a link between the University of California Extension and farmers. For a county to be allocated a “Cooperative Extension” farm advisor, that county had to sign up a majority of its farmers into a “Farm Bureau.” The intent of this was to have an organization for the farm advisors to give reports on the latest research from the Universities. This also enabled the U.C. Extension system to conduct field trial in different parts of our state.
At each San Joaquin Farm Bureau meeting, a report was given by the Farm Advisor, a practice that still continues today. In addition to learning more from the Universities, the Farm Bureau members realized that they had many common problems and issues. By working together they were able to work on Water, Land Use and other regulatory issues to benefit agriculture in this region. They also identified necessary services like insurance for their farming operations and foster programs to cover these services at a discounted rate for Farm Bureau members.
While a lot has changed since 1914, the core principal, that agriculture works best when we work together on issues is still the driving force within our organization. We pride ourselves on the fact that one well thought out plan to address an issue at the local level can turn into a policy that the organization supports and can turn an issue into a federal law like it did with Country of Origin Labeling of meat and produce.