By John Moore
President, Kern County Farm Bureau
It’s been one year since our past pres handed off the gavel giving us the biennial Kern County Farm Bureau presidential sayonara, and my first year of leadership has certainly been interesting. If trade disputes, commodity fluctuations, record crops, riots, ravenous wildfires, a Presidential election, or legislative overreach weren’t enough, the global pandemic sure seems have to added a level of complexity unknown to 2019 John Moore et world. Obviously, COVID-19 has affected the industry and many lives in various, often personal, ways. My wife and I have a 1-and-a-half-year-old son, and our little girl is due in January. It’s amazing to think that come March, if we are still in this pandemic, our little guy will have lived half of his life in pandemic restricted society, and our girl will be born into one. The effects of COVID-19 are far from over, and as the dominoes continue to fall, it’s important to remember that there will be an end to this seemingly never-ending marathon.
One of the dominoes to fall is the obvious and overstated inability to gather in large crowds. The latest event to fall is the World Ag Expo, which was cancelled for 2021. The cancellation is certainly disappointing to a great many in the agricultural industry as the event serves to connect agriculturalists from around the world in the heart of California. Highlighting the innovative technologies our industry develops on an annual basis is important for the long-term career interest of budding agriculture professionals and is a sign of the health of the industry. Fortunately, farming never stops, and neither will innovation. Look for webinars and to the Farm Bureau for pilot projects put forth from the state and other opportunities. Despite restrictions in large gatherings, innovation continues. So, be sure to share the message if and when possible.
Another of the early dominoes to fall is apparent: the domino of mistrust that has led to political divergence in our country. When a select group of policy leaders revert to downplaying material facts in favor of emotional pleas there is a problem. The heart of any good relationship is trust, which is something modern society has shifted away from during these chaotic moments. Unfortunately, this has percolated to many within our state government, thereby influencing the public. As the Farm Bureau attempts to work with industry opposition, KCFB aligns itself with objective reality and shows the data collected for the express purpose of protecting the industry and communities agriculture serves. Seeing is believing. And as long as the industry continues to listen to the science, maintain honest dealings and follow guidelines, agriculture will continue to thrive.
The last domino to fall will be the virus itself. We will likely be living with a variety of this strain for the remainder of our lives, but the good news is that the future is bright. At a recent roundtable held at the Kern County Public Health Services Department, Surgeon General Jerome Adams noted that the availability of a vaccine as early as the end of the year or late as early spring is likely. He continued by explaining that this is most certainly an unprecedented event that folks will debate and scientists will study for the next century. Dr. Adams is correct. What we have done as a nation and industry is commendable and will be remembered by generations to come.
I look forward to my second and last year of the President of the Kern County Farm Bureau and will see you all in person soon. Here’s to sprinting the marathon!