September 2016

August has been a challenging month for all growers within Madera county, if it hasn’t been starting harvest, it has been keeping an eye on the legislation coming at us. That’s right, the newest change is AB 1066, the ag overtime rule that recently passed in a final assembly vote of 44-32. It’s a bone chilling law that its authors and supporters believe will help farm workers that work 10 hours per day under this new law they would work 8 hours, and then they would be paid overtime.

Most farm laborers want to work the extra hours, as it allows them a better take home wage. Under this new law, their ability to provide better for their families is restricted. AB 1066 also hinders those that that farm more perishable crops by constricting harvesting labor hours to an 8hour day instead of adjusting labor needs according to the demands of Mother Nature. This new law will change the crops we farm in California along with the the landscape of California agricultural. Harvest is more than on its way, with most growers in the area in the harvest mode for many days now. To that effect I always say “early in, early done”.

I hope Mother Nature brings us some nice, winter rain to help motivate us all in getting the crops up and out. As the farming community moves forward I believe that we need to have a united voice against the challenges, needs and issues that affect us all. These challenges have not decreased as time has gone on, but rather have increased.

Farmers (for many generations) have invested their lives and made it their priority to grow crops that help feed the world. Why would we want to stop that? California’s prodigious agriculture must be recognized as the financial generator it is for all of the communities across the state, in addition to how it has shaped the Agriculture industry. We need to take control and be bold in shaping our own destiny and future. Let’s be active, be informed. With that, I wish a happy and safe harvest to all.

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