Hello everyone, its December and the Board of Directors of Madera County Farm Bureau biennial change of officers has occurred. For this term, I am serving as President of the Board and am writing my 1st president’s message. First, a little bit about myself, I have been a lifelong Madera resident farming with family members in the Ripperdan area. After graduating from Madera High School, I completed my bachelors and master’s degree in biological chemistry from Fresno State and subsequently have been involved in my family’s farm. The crops grown have changed over the years from grapes and some row crops to mainly almonds, pistachios and grapes today.
As we get ready to celebrate the Christmas and reflect, all one can say is what a crazy year this year has been. From March and the Coronavirus related shutdowns when most people thought that in a few weeks life would return to some sense of normalcy, who would have thought we would still be in the middle of a partial shutdown nine months later. Crops and animals have to be tended to regardless of a pandemic or not and that is what everyone went out and accomplished. A great feat considering many were wondering if we were going to have enough help to grow the crop and get everything harvested. Although crops were harvested and some commodities have had a satisfactory year, many have been a complete disaster due to lack of market demand and/or low prices. This added uncertainty makes it very difficult to plan even in the short term especially with conditions changing almost daily. What crops/commodities are going to do well in the near term versus long term due to structural changes, the “new normal” in the market are questions that we face today.
Most farmers remember years by weather and how crops turned out, 2020 will probably be remembered as the Covid-19 year. As we look forward it might be nice if we can all recover and have “good” 2021. The scars of 2020 will not be soon forgotten especially those whose family members, friends were lost to this virus. Although pandemics have occurred before most of us have never lived through one that has affected our everyday lives quite to this extent. All that said, a few glimmers of optimism are on the horizon and things might start improving soon.
Hope everybody enjoys the Christmas season and remains healthy.