By Patty Poire. President, Kern County Farm Bureau
It’s been a month now and I thought that I would break my normal “bad” news information rep. I got a repetition of always providing “bad” news information since I was the Chair of the Land Use Committee and handled the water component for the local bureau as well. So, here might be my one and only good news report!
One item of excitement was the 10th Annual Kern County Bounty held on October 9th. It was the first time where the venue was not at the Kern County Fair Grounds; it was held at All Seated in a Barn on Imperial Street in Shafter. It was a sold-out event of good food, good drinks and most importantly great people in attendance. Senators Grove and Hurtado presented to outgoing President John Moore for his outstanding work especially during the pandemic. The keynote speaker was Secretary Karen Ross, and she didn’t disappoint. She spoke of the current noise in Sacramento and provided insight into the direction the State is heading, which we all know has agricultural in their sight. Jamie Johansson, President of the California Farm Bureau was the guest speaker and he followed Secretary Ross’ lead in describing how CA agricultural proved itself to be an “essential” industry during the COVID pandemic. He spoke of how CA agricultural didn’t skip a beat and continued to produce the fruits, vegetables, fiber, meat and dairy products needed to sustain the country. It should be noted that California agricultural always steps up to the plate for the benefit of the country.
Not to be over shadowed, was the Kern County Board of Supervisors proclaiming the month of October in Kern County, Farmer and Farmworker Month. They held a morning ceremony on Tuesday October 12th at their morning session to present to the Kern County Farm Bureau and representatives from California Farmworker Foundation. It was well attended by directors and officers of the Kern County Farm Bureau.
Additionally, at a recent Kern County Farm Bureau meeting, those in attendance were provided an opportunity to see the data management system created to assist in understanding the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which the Kern Sub-basin is developing. This system will assist landowners to see where current water levels are as well as water quality as the program of CV-SALTS enters into the basin in early 2022. They also were provided an opportunity to see the accounting platform developed by EDF and supported by the State that will provide landowners an opportunity to know their available water balances going forward. The accounting platform is a little behind the data management system in development, but evidently these two tools will provide landowners answers at their fingertips to assist them in making business decisions. The meeting was able to seek additional input from landowners before finalizing the tools.
As I mentioned last month, if you are not at the table then you are on the menu. I would recommend that if you are available to attend the monthly Farm Bureau meetings, I can guarantee that you will be kept informed on current programs and not just SGMA and CV-SALTS. The Farm Bureau has so many directors who share their expertise in safety, economics, trading and water that you will walk away with some information that you didn’t know or were not aware of. There are some directors that have such expertise that I am going to have them cover some of the topics during the following months instead of only hearing from me. I believe they bring too much value in their area of expertise that they need to share. Our meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at 5pm at our new location at 1800 30th Street Ste #390. You are most welcome to participate.
My last good news is a heartfelt note during this month of Thanksgiving. California agricultural will be on everyone’s table on November 25th. I thank you all for enduring the day-to-day struggles to provide the country with a bountiful Thanksgiving.
P.S. I am sure I will be back to normal next month.