By John Moore, President, Kern County Farm Bureau
Happy New Year! It’s 2021 and there is no doubt by this time all of the woes brought with 2020 are in the rear-view mirror (fingers, arms, and legs crossed). In the event 2020’s woes are not, in fact, in the rear-view mirror the nation is likely callused enough to handle a bit more adversity than its 2019 self. A New Year brings fresh beginnings and never has a fresh start been more welcome. Forecasting events in the agricultural industry is akin to going to Las Vegas and dedicating one’s time to the roulette table. Despite pandemic related stressors contributing to dips in commodity and land values the upcoming year could be the start to something positive.
Conceivably, commodity prices will begin to rise to pre-COVID values. As the vaccine is distributed starting with healthcare and essential industry workers, the economy will get a boost. If the establishment media diagnostic on a fraught and controversial election is correct, likely the US dollar weakens, and exports increase potentially benefiting many growers in the area. The battles of agriculture are in no way over, and a new administration means new challenges for our rural enterprises. The long-term cost of the election remains to be seen, and the industry will adapt as it has done over its life cycle.
Water continues to be a hot topic for the state of California, and 2021 will be no different. SGMA plans continue their review by DWR. In the new year, collaborations will continue their development and data management systems may come online for landowners to track day to day groundwater movement in order to make the best business decisions for their operations. As data management systems come online, landowners must take it upon themselves to digest this information and a membership in the Kern County Farm Bureau will likely be a boon for educational tools.
The Kern County Farm Bureau has a bevy of items planned for the year 2021. Amongst these goals is the search for a new office for the KCFB, the development of a rural safety notification online portal aptly named “Farm Watch,” the digital formatting of “Farm Day in the City” to educate Kern County youth how the agricultural industry is still farming, and the much-anticipated return of our spring Golf Classic and annual Bounty of Kern County. The Board of Directors and Staff look forward to a relative return to normalcy and will keep all members well informed along the way.
I wish you all a very happy New Year, and we look forward to hitting the ground running and working for all those in the agricultural industry.