2021 Capitol Ag Day held virtually

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By David Strecker, SJFB President

Last month, California Farm Bureau brought back its Capitol Ag Day. Each March, CFBF has a Leadership Conference in Sacramento with several speakers as well as an afternoon spent walking the halls of the Capitol so we may talk to our representatives from all over the state. The importance of this is mainly to reach out to the representative from the Bay Area and Los Angeles that are not as familiar with the importance that agriculture is to the state.

Traditionally, there are several events that bring the agriculturists and elected officials together. Obviously this year, several events were combined and unfortunately were conducted via virtual online meetings and were not face-to-face conversations.

Regardless of how the meetings were conducted, it is always good to be talking with our elected officials. San Joaquin Farm Bureau has been in constant contact with our local representatives, so it was nice to also see and hear from others from around the state. One of the main things that concerned me during this event is when our chair of Assembly Agriculture Committee, Robert Rivas, spoke of providing more mitigation to offset the regulations and rules we face in agriculture. The first thing that San Joaquin Farm Bureau fights for is less regulation and taxes, not throwing us a bone after our demise has already been put in place.

I, as well as many of you, have benefited from different mitigation programs to offset the losses and burdens by regulation. However, we will continue to fight the ridiculous regulation that Sacramento is constantly placing on us. Mitigation is not needed if we are able to do what we love as liberated individuals.

The office has been receiving phone calls and emails almost daily requesting information on vaccination events. More and more events are happening and are being scheduled weekly. If you have questions regarding these vaccination events for yourself or employees, please do not hesitate to call the office and always keep an eye out for our Friday Review via email.

March did bring us some rain, however, the totals were not exactly what was predicted. Additional snow fall is always welcome, but this season is now severely behind a normal season. There is still time for a few storms before things really get rolling. However, we are rapidly approaching the time where tractors need to be in the field and not the shed.

Despite acreage decreasing for a generation now, Delta asparagus is available in stores. A few of the local markets and grocery stores do have Delta asparagus in stock. The best asparagus available in the world comes from our very own Delta. There is not a lot available so please do not wait to get yours now.

Cherry season is just around the corner. Almost every commodity was affected in one way or the other last year. I hope for a productive harvest, safe and flawless packing season and that markets worldwide are craving some San Joaquin County cherries. It would be nice for one of our first seasonal crops to set the tone for a lucrative and rewarding season for all of agriculture.

As we move forward, San Joaquin Farm Bureau will be slowly moving back into holding events. The next couple or few months will still have COVID-19 as a big part of our daily lives. As we are are normally holding our Farm Center Dinners at this time, we will be sending out ballots for you to elect your local Farm Center directors. We are putting the feelers out on how we can hold an outdoor event for our annual meeting and bring us all together again.