September 2020

Shout out to George Washington for saying, “Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful and most noble employment of man.”  Not only was he a gentleman farmer, he served significant leadership roles in the military and was the very first President of the United States of America to boot.  If that quote doesn’t make a farmer feel warm and tender inside, not sure what will.  What’s special about George Washington was his commitment to the advancement of his community, in his case, his country.  I mean, what kind of person says, “Yep, I’ll do it! I’ll be the first President of the United States of America.  No problem, I got this!”

The point is, I recognize the many local “George Washington’s” in our farming community.  There are too many to mention, but one thing I’ve learned from being the President and a Director of Madera County Farm Bureau, is our community is full of people who selflessly participate in advancing our farming community.

I was in a George Washington-like meeting the other day.  On the call were farmers, agricultural service providers, county supervisors, conservationists, water district managers and many other folks interested in collaborating on an issue we all had an interest in.  While on the call, I kept thinking, “How are all of us, with different backgrounds and broad interests, on the same call together for this single cause?”  Maybe we can attribute the connecting capabilities of Zoom to this awesome collaboration or maybe the hard work put in by the organizer, surely likely a combination of the two.  But I would argue, the most significant reason this meeting came together the way it did was because of everyone’s interest in the bigger picture.  The purpose of the meeting was narrow and defined, we all could wrap our head around it and can see how it benefits us individually and as a community.  The topic was conservation in farming and ranching operations.

Lastly, I believe community leaders on the forefront of our Ag issues are motivated, innovative, collaborative, driven and care-enough to sacrifice time with their family, friends and work to ensure our greater community continues to thrive in the State of California.  I am proud of and highly encouraged by our local Ag and Ag affiliate leadership.  Thanks to all of you for your commitment to advancing our Ag community, you know who you are.

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