By Christine Souza, Assistant Editor, Ag Alert
Reprinted with Permission from California Farm Bureau Federation
Butte County olive and citrus fruit grower Jamie Johansson has been re-elected to a third consecutive term as president of the California Farm Bureau.
The election took place at the organization’s 103rd Annual Meeting Dec. 4-8, in Garden Grove, a conference in which Johansson hailed the contributions of member farmers and ranchers as critical to the Farm Bureau’s success.
Johansson, First Vice President Shannon Douglass and Second Vice President Shaun Crook each ran unopposed and were re-elected by acclamation by the House of Delegates. All three were first voted into their posts in 2017.
Johansson is a former chairman of the California Young Farmers & Ranchers State Committee, a former vice president of the Butte County Farm Bureau and a former Oroville City Council member and vice mayor. He was elected California Farm Bureau second vice president in 2009 and first vice president in 2015.
“It’s the highest honor to serve,” Johansson told members of the Farm Bureau’s House of Delegates following his election. He described the Farm Bureau as “stronger now than I’ve ever seen” and said members deserve “to celebrate this organization that you have created and the direction you are going.”
In addressing Farm Bureau members during the meeting, Johansson emphasized the importance of engagement in the coming year on issues facing agriculture.
“In agriculture there’s going to be change, but it has to be directed by the experts and that is us in agriculture. That’s the voice of Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau. We need to direct our paths and stand up,” Johansson said.
In referencing the conference theme, “Making it Possible,” Johansson said the work of Farm Bureau is possible due to the grassroots efforts of the county and state Farm Bureaus and the American Farm Bureau Federation.
“It’s possible when Farm Bureau puts its weight behind it, but we need to hear from you. We need to hear, particularly in your area, what we can do,” he said. “We are social organization. It’s time that California Farm Bureau put the boots back on the ground, in real time, walking the streets of Sacramento and in the hallways of Washington, D.C., and make a difference.”
Johansson said, “The diversity of Farm Bureau is what makes us even better, because we are unified under one voice in doing what’s best for agriculture.”
Douglass and Crook were also elected to third consecutive terms. Douglass, of Orland, is an owner of Douglass Ranch, which raises beef cattle, sunflowers, pumpkins, corn and forage crops. She is also the founder of CalAgJobs, an online agricultural jobs site. She is a director of the Glenn County Farm Bureau and serves on the Glenn County Fair Board of Directors.
“I look forward to another term serving the members of California Farm Bureau,” Douglass said. “While the challenges ahead are plenty, I know the work of Farm Bureau is critical to the future success of our farms, and I am proud to be part of that important work.”
Crook is a vice president of a family timber business in Groveland and a real estate agent specializing in ranch, commercial and residential properties. He is a member of the Tuolumne County Alliance for Resources and Environment and a former president of the Tuolumne County Farm Bureau.
“It’s been great to get to know the members of this organization over the past four years, traveling across the state as officers and dealing with the issues facing us as California agriculture,” Crook said. “I look forward to working for all of you and thank you for taking time away from your operations to be here.”
Delegates returned a dozen members to the California Farm Bureau board: Ronnie Leimgruber of Holtville represents Imperial and San Diego counties; Richard Miner of Tehachapi represents Los Angeles and Orange counties; Brian Medeiros of Hanford represents Kern and Kings counties; Donny Rollin of Riverdale represents Fresno County; Jay Mahil of Madera represents Madera, Mariposa and Merced counties; Joe Martinez of Winters represents Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano counties; Ron Peterson of Hilmar represents Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties; Joe Fischer of Auburn represents Placer, Sacramento, El Dorado and Amador counties; Clark Becker of Biggs represents Butte, Nevada and Yuba-Sutter counties; Johnnie White of Napa represents Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties; Taylor Hagata of Susanville represents Lassen, Modoc and Plumas-Sierra counties; and Ron Vevoda of Ferndale represents Del Norte and Humboldt counties.
Glenn County walnut farmer Jocelyn Anderson of Willows was selected to chair the Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee, succeeding State YF&R Committee Chair Lindsey Mebane of Kern County. San Diego County farmer Al Stehly of Valley Center was appointed to chair the Farm Bureau’s Rural Health Committee.
Delegates also elected Marin County rancher Martin Pozzi of Tomales as an alternate delegate to the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention next month in Atlanta. The Farm Bureau’s three top leaders—Johansson, Douglass and Crook—will serve as delegates.