almond blossom
Photo: Guangli / Shutterstock.com

By Romeo Agbalog, Executive Director, Kern County Farm Bureau

Romeo Agbalog
Kern County Farm Bureau Executive Director, Romeo Agbalog

Just a couple of weeks ago we set our clocks an hour ahead in observance of Daylight-Saving Time (DST). “Spring forward” and “Fall Back” have been part of the lexicon helping people keep time in order since the enactment of DST in the early 1900s. Did you know that agriculturalists were one of the first groups to lobby in opposition DST? More on that later.

Moving along with the time, your local Farm Bureau is springing forward into action with a series of activities in furtherance of advocacy, education, and promotion of local area agriculture. At the end of March representatives of the Kern County Farm Bureau traveled to the state capitol in Sacramento to participate in California Farm Bureau’s Annual Ag Leadership Conference and Issue Advisory Committee (IAC) meetings. At the conference, participants met with legislators and other public officials to educate decision-makers on issues of concern and importance to the agriculture industry. Members of IAC took a deep dive into policy discussions on subjects like, air quality, labor, land use, trade, and more.

After a pandemic induced hiatus, Kern County Farm Bureau brought back Farm Day in the City held at the Kern County Fairgrounds to provide local area students with an opportunity to experience agriculture in an up-close and hands-on environment. Students from across Kern County ranging from second thru fourth grade visited exhibits and heard presentations regarding animals and livestock, locally grown crops, farm equipment, and saw demonstrations from local ag organizations and volunteers showcasing the benefits of agriculture. Early education on the value and importance of agriculture is vital to our industry and I am thankful to the educators who availed themselves and their students by participating in Farm Day in the City again this year.

On April 25th, the Kern County Farm Bureau will be holding is 2022 Golf Classic golf tournament at Stockdale Country Club in Bakersfield. The tournament is an excellent networking event featuring promotional booths and participants from across the South San Joaquin Valley. If golfing appeals to your recreational or competitive nature, or if you just want to mingle with folks in the ag industry and ag supporters alike then the Golf Classic is the event for you. This event sells out fast, so if your interested in sponsoring or securing a team, please call us at (661) 397-9635 or visit KernCFB.com/Golf-Classic for more information.

So, what about agriculturalists and DST again? Well first, on a personal note I have never been a fan of this government sanctioned theft of an hour of my sleep and, yes, I was one of a small number of stunned and embarrassed parishioners sitting in the parking lot at church having missed Sunday services on the Sunday after DST. But I digress, see the U. S. has ping-ponged on DST over time from implementation to repeal, back to implementation and most recently by act of Congress to repeal again. In 1919 the U. S. repealed DST due largely by a massive lobbying effort from farmers who argued in part that the sun, not the hands of a clock, dictated their schedules. “After all, dew doesn’t evaporate at a specific time, cows typically aren’t too keen on an earlier milking, workers worked less since they came and went according to the clock, and those darn roosters sure can’t tell time.”

The point is this was a legislative victory for farmers. I mention this because it seems like we in agriculture haven’t had very many victories in government lately. Whether water, regulations, or supply-chain we could use a win. Perhaps we can set our clocks, get on the same schedule, use timing to our advantage, and like the farmers of old, turn back the clock on some of these burdensome laws and regulations that crushing agriculture. This would be a very timely thing to do.