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in the KNOW

June 8, 2012

Members Visit Policymakers

More than 20 Ag Council members made their way to the state capitol this past week to visit with legislators and their staff about important issues impacting farmer-owned businesses in California.

A group of Legislative Day attendees at the Capitol

“In an election year, our voices need to be heard more than ever,” said Emily Rooney, president of Ag Council. “Our membership represents a diverse array of agricultural enterprises, but they are all in the business of producing food. California’s political climate can be challenging and that’s why it is so important to visit face-to-face with elected officials and other members of the state government to help them understand how their decisions impact California’s number one industry”.

Ag Council members met with elected officials and their staff members in the afternoon to discuss current and pending legislation related to water, land use and labor.

“We are once again at a critical time in the state budget negotiations,” said Bob Shipley president of Squab Producers of California and an Ag Council board member. “In the Governor’s May budget revision, the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA) is facing $2.5 million in further budget reductions, which is in addition to the $63 million reduction that was made in the previous two budget cycles.”

“Ag Council and the ag community participated in an effective stakeholder process led by Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross to identify cost savings in the department. Now, CDFA and our industry cannot absorb any more cuts without negatively impacting food production, inspection and safety in California. Legislative Day gave us the opportunity to communicate this message at a crucial time since the June 15 constitutional deadline for the Legislature to pass a budget is quickly approaching,” Shipley said.

 

State Officials Brief Members

Ag Council members had a chance to discuss key issues such as budget, water, and health care with the state leaders, in addition to learning more about the state political and legislative process.

Ag Council appreciates our Legislative Day speakers and thanks all of them for spending time with our members.

 

Ag Council Reception

Legislative Day concluded with a reception at the Citizen Hotel where legislators, state officials, and their staff had an opportunity to visit with Ag Council members. CDFA Secretary Karen Ross was in attendance, as well as other administration and regulatory officials.

A big thanks goes out to all of Ag Council’s members, allied members and guests who attended Legislative Day events this week.

 

In Case You Missed It….

Ag Council President, Emily Rooney, recently spoke on a panel before the California Air Resources Board (ARB) regarding how the state can best utilize revenues raised through the cap and trade auction market set to begin this November.

Click HERE to watch the video of Rooney speaking before ARB.