Sonoma County Farm Bureau

About Sonoma County Farm Bureau

Horses At Tank

Farm Bureau is an independent, non-governmental, voluntary not for profit organization of farm and ranch families united for the purpose of analyzing their problems and formulating action to achieve educational improvement, economic opportunity, and social advancement and, thereby, to promote the national well-being. Farm Bureau is local, county, state, national, and international in its scope and influence and is non-partisan, non-sectarian and not-secret in character. Farm Bureau is the voice of agricultural producers at all levels.

Protecting Your Water to Grow

Farm Bureau is a leader in promoting water quality and works to ensure an affordable and reliable water supply for California now and in the future. As the state's population grows, so does the demand for water and the problems of chronic water shortages that will affect agriculture, the economy, the environment and the urban landscape. Farm Bureau is the leader for agricultural concerns in resolving the complicated and lengthy Cal-Fed process that will affect water users for generations. Farm Bureau's water plan focuses on protecting water rights, increasing water supplies to meet all new water demands, providing flood control, and educating the public about the benefits agriculture provides to the state.

A Strong Voice at the Capitols

White Lambs

Combating Over-Regulation - Numerous regulations reduce farm profits. Federal regulatory compliance costs private individuals and small business, including agriculture, more than $650 billion annually. In the past decade there has been a huge rise in regulations in the areas of environmental safety, health and labor. Watchdogs That Work - Farm Bureau is active in legislation dealing with pesticides, wetlands, clean air and endangered species laws, advocating commonsense regulations and sound science. Farm Bureau actively represents its members in Sacramento and Washington to promote legislation beneficial to farmers and rural families. Farm Bureau also monitors all state and federal regulations which effect agriculture.

Helping Elect Friends of Agriculture

Farm Bureau's Political Action Committee works to elect government officials committed to supporting agricultural interests. The committee raises funds to support election of candidates, both Republican and Democrats, who will work in the best interest of California's farmers and ranchers.

Keeping Your Utility Rates Low

Farm Bureau represents farmers and ranchers full-time before the state Public Utilities Commission and is active in the deregulation matters of the state's electric industry. Farm Bureau participated in the legislative proceedings to ensure that changes in California's electric industry would benefit all agricultural customers. Instrumental in Farm Bureau's effort was a provision to preserve the cost savings for customers to switch from electricity to other fuels, such as natural gas or diesel. Farm Bureau's rate victories at the PUC saved over $260 million per year for agricultural energy users.

Protecting Your Land

Ranch With Tank

Agriculture's sustainability is tied directly to the state's most precious resource�its land. Finding the appropriate balance between conservation and development is critical to agriculture's future. Many of agriculture's problems relate directly to the urbanization of rural areas. Farm Bureau works aggressively to encourage in-fill and more efficient use of land to preserve agriculture. Farm Bureau fights to strengthen the state's farmland preservation laws and to help county Farm Bureaus adopt "right-to-farm" ordinances to protect farmers' rights and prevent rural/urban conflicts.

Sensible Environmental Solutions

Environmental issues are intertwined with the various laws on endangered species, water, air and agricultural land. Farm Bureau's legal staff spearheads efforts to seek sensible solutions to problems relating to the environment. Key to these efforts is the development of landowner incentives for habitat management by removing the many obstacles that have existed under various laws counterproductive to conservation, enhancement and creation of new habitat resources. Issues such as the application of sewage sludge on agricultural lands and management of non-point source pollution are other big challenges facing California's farmers and ranchers, which command Farm Bureau's attention.

Promoting Farm Health and Safety

Ocean With Cow

Farm Bureau safety seminars, videos, and written materials help you reduce accidents and associated costs. These are available in Spanish and English. Commodity-specific seminars explain government safety regulations. Improving Rural Health - Our Rural Health Department provides nonprofit health insurance and works to maintain modern, efficient medical care in farming areas. At the county level, Farm Bureau's activities may include CPR, first-aid training, health fairs, blood banks, and more. Fighting Rural Crime - Farm Bureau works with local and state law enforcement agencies, including the State Rural Crime Task Force, to fight crime in farming areas. Farm Bureau provides a national marking system to prevent theft of equipment, livestock and commodities, plus website information on rural crime trends including a listing of stolen equipment and commodities, and other crimes.

Working with Labor

Ranch With Barn

California's bounty of fruit and vegetable crops requires a stable and reliable labor force to help plant, cultivate, and harvest perishable commodities each season. Farm Bureau is active on a variety of farm labor fronts: federal legislation to ensure the availability of an adequate labor supply, supporting programs to provide a reliable source of safe, affordable farm labor housing, bilingual employee safety training and education, and farm labor consultation on issues such as improving relations with employees.

Food Safety for Consumers

Peaches On Tree

California farmers and ranchers are committed to providing the highest quality food, fiber and flowers to consumers with the safest, most judicious use of pesticides. The issue of pesticides remains important to agriculture because pesticides are essential tools to prevent weeds, insects and diseases from damaging the state's 250-plus commodities. They are important to the state's Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs that incorporate limited pesticide use with beneficial insects, intensive pest monitoring, cover crops and mating confusion techniques. Farm Bureau also supports the use of biotechnology to improve the quality and marketability of farm products and to solve environmental problems.

Expanding Your Export Markets

California is the nation's leading farm export state, selling production derived from more than two million acres to export markets. The economic viability of California agriculture depends on the industry's ability to develop new markets, expand existing ones, and to withstand unfair trade competition. Persistent problems in the form of unfair trade barriers, phytosanitary issues, market access and dispute resolution remain from past trade agreements. Farm Bureau has supported past agreements and is committed to free and open trade, but actively seeks redress of problems which unfairly restrict agricultural exports.

Telling the Farmer's Story

When agriculture talks to the public, it is usually Farm Bureau's voice that's heard in the major farm news stories of the day. Farm Bureau has an aggressive media relations program providing reporters with immediate, authoritative information. It also produces two award-winning member publications, television programs, and delivers fresh-farm news via the Farm Bureau's Web page (www.cfbf.com) to help farmers tell their story.