Ag Policy Update
Here are a few of agricultural policy updates affecting our state’s farmers and ranchers, courtesy of the California Farm Bureau Federation.
Drought concerns surfaced frequently during the California Farm Bureau Capitol AG Day event, held via video conference Tuesday. Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson expressed disappointment with the slow progress of projects funded through a 2014 water bond, and urged movement on voluntary river-flow agreements intended to head off further water cuts. The conference featured discussions with legislative and administration leaders on a variety of topics.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed an agricultural immigration bill last week. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act addresses both current and future workforce needs for agricultural employers and employees. The California Farm Bureau and hundreds of other farm organizations have announced support for the bill. It would update agricultural visa programs and accommodate immigrant agricultural employees already in the country
The pandemic has brought shifts in meat demand, as people stock freezers with meat. Ranchers who sell whole animals directly to customers say a change in law could help them fulfill that demand. A bill in the state Legislature would allow more ranchers to process small numbers of animals on the farm for direct sale. Cattle ranchers may already do so. The bill would expand that option to include sheep, goats and potentially swine.
(Source: California Farm Bureau Federation)