TAKE ACTION NOW! As the governmental red tape continues to roll out, the fate of farming is once again in jeopardy. The State Legislature is back in session for their last month of the legislative session, and AB 2757 has been resurrected in the shape of AB 1066. Assembly-member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) has included the exact overtime language from her defeated bill in AB 1066. As currently written, AB 1066 will: (1) Phase in over a four-year period, a requirement that overtime pay be paid to farm workers after 8 hours of work in a day or 40 hours in a week; (2) Require workers to take one day off every seven days; (3) Delays the implementation of the new overtime rules for small employers by two years and (4) Gives the Governor the authority to postpone a scheduled overtime pay increase if employment in California is declining. This legislation will hurt not only farmers but also farm workers. The higher cost of providing overtime pay will force farmers to cut employee hours to control labor costs and farm worker compensation will decline. Participation from all farmers and farm workers was a key element when CFBF defeated AB 2757 in the Assembly. It is important that we continue to put pressure on our elected officials. So I urge you all to contact your elected officials today! As the water saga continues I encourage everyone to reach out to their respective water agencies, the County and/or Farm Bureau to find out what will be coming down the pipeline with regards to SGMA. I’ve included a lot of information over the past few months within our newsletter, but it still seems as though many people haven’t quite yet wrapped their heads around what’s to come. Please make it a point to become involved or at least get informed because the water regulations we will potentially face in the next few years will impact everyone, not just a select few.
On a lighter note, as mentioned before, FB is organizing their 2nd annual Ag United Harvest Celebration and Annual Meeting. It will be held at the Chowchilla Fairgrounds on Sunday, October 23, 2016. Prime rib will be served for dinner, 2016 Scholarship Recipients, Madera County Senior Farmer, and the 2016-2017 MCFB Board Members will be recognized, and we will have a fantastic keynote speaker. We will also announce the winner of the Yeti cooler and Yeti Drink Package drawing. For those that didn’t read last month’s newsletter, we are having a membership drive raffle. All new agricultural/ business members who join between now and October 20th, will be entered to win a Yeti 45 Cooler, but that’s not all…Members who refer those new applicants will also be entered into a drawing for a Yeti Drink Package, which includes a Yeti Tumbler, a Yeti Rambler Coldster (can cozy), a Yeti Water Bottle, and a gift card. For more information about the event, on becoming/signing up a member, or if you would like to sponsor our event please contact MCFB office at (559)674- 8871.
Stay safe and cool, and best of luck for a great harvest.