June 2020

Currently in Madera County, it appears the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.  Let’s give a round of applause to our Board of Supervisors for proactively moving us through the four-stage reopening plan during this COVID pandemic!  We are currently in stage 2 (2.5), which allows for a significant number of low-risk business to reopen.  Of course, doing so while adhering to CDC guidelines.  This is great news and great progress.  I wish nothing less than a swift rebound for our local businesses, as they each represent a tiny cylinder in our local economic engine.

In other news, Madera County Farm Bureau and Producers Livestock Marketing Association partnered last month to help our local 4-H members and FFA students sell their animal projects to the public.  COVID has forced many county fairs, or all fairs at this junction in time, to cancel their activities.  Consequently, most 4-H and FFA students have had limited access to a platform to offer their animal projects to the public for auction.  Once the Madera County Farm Bureau Board of Directors got wind of the cancellation of Chowchilla Fair with no option for these kids, we decided to intervene.  Under the direction of our Executive Director Christina Beckstead, and partnership with our neighbors Producers Livestock, we organized a sale.  This sale was a shotgun-planned event serving our community and future agriculturalists.  Organizing this during a pandemic proved difficult, but where passion and care motivate, nothing can interfere with the mission.  This sale was about much more than the selling of animals, it represented what our community and industry is capable of when others need help.  My hat goes off to our Madera County Farm Bureau Executive Director Christina Beckstead and Producers Livestock Manager Matt Beechinor, for their collaborative efforts no matter how impossible planning seemed at times.  More importantly, many thanks to those in the community who participated in the program, you are truly the supporters of our future agriculturalists.  Not to be forgotten, I’d like to thank Madera County Cattlemen’s Association for their partnership, and our very own Fresno Madera Young Farmers and Ranchers organization, thank you for your continued volunteer support of Madera Farm Bureau events, we appreciate you.

Even though agriculture is taking a hard hit during this pandemic, which has significantly interrupted our businesses, I feel it is coming to an end.  Keep your equipment prepared for operation, tractors filled with diesel and your commodity representation nearby. Also make sure to have your employees current on their training as OSHA always seems to be close by.  If you need help with training, please contact the Farm Bureau as we have several trainings scheduled to meet those needs including harvest training and OSHA Regulation Compliance.  Stay ready.

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