Reprinted with Permission from California Farm Bureau Federation
California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson offered the following comments on January 10th, on the $286.4 billion budget plan announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom:
“California’s farmers are facing unprecedented challenges beyond their control. The Farm Bureau represents over 30,000 of these farmers in every corner of the state – including over 20,000 small farms. We need water, inputs, and markets to feed people and provide the jobs that are the backbone of the California economy.
“Gov. Newsom’s budget is a good framework for this year’s budget discussions in that it proposes to fund more water storage and conveyance, opportunity for California-grown products in schools, funds for both implementation of and research on climate smart ag practices and begins to relieve the massive burden on employers on costs associated with COVID-19.
“At a time when food prices are soaring and inflation and shortages are no longer speculative, it is critical that we shore up the farm economy. As they say, though, the devil is the details, and we need to ensure that the farmers who are supposed to benefit from these programs have a voice in the enactment of them.
“Despite many years of programs and slogans to ‘save the farm,’ we continue to see less and less every year – and almost all those lost are small farms. As the one California group that has more small, diverse, family-owned farms than anybody else, we look forward to partnering on solutions that can help reverse these trends.”