Happy New Year, from your president. It has been a very good start to the new year with record snow and rainfall for us. Now if we could just keep that pace up for the rest of the year, we might stay on track for a normal year.
With the new year come new laws, such as an increase in minimum wage and increase in living costs. Prop 12: requires adequate space for breeding sows, laying hens and veal calves. It will have a detrimental effect on our way of farming. California’s laws are not only affecting California farmers, but other farmers across the US as well. It will also cause job loss, along with increased prices and product shortages at the grocery store. It will ban the sale of products from those who fail to meet these new confinement standards.
Newsom has signed new executive orders, including one that will go into effect in 2024 that will ban small engines 25 HP or less designed for off-road use. Then you have CARB planning to phase out all agricultural burning by 2025. It just seems to me that this state's government is not business friendly. Let’s stick together and try to turn our government and voters' ideas of farming around. Our food and farming system confronts new challenges today that were not around in years past. It has always been difficult to keep farming alive, but the mentality of consumers today is being influenced to go against the farmer. California produces more than 400 different commodities and two-thirds of the nation’s fruits and nuts. We are the fifth largest supplier of food, cotton, and fiber, not to mention other important crops. The regulations that Newsom is implementing on us make it almost impossible to keep up our family farms and make a future for our children to one day take it over.
Your Merced County Farm Bureau staff is always working hard to make a difference. We are in this together and appreciate every one of our farmers.