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March 15, 2017

Ag Council Members Gather for 98th Annual Meeting

Richard Corey, Executive Officer at the California Air Resources Board, speaks to Annual Meeting attendees.

Richard Corey, Executive Officer at the California Air Resources Board, speaks to Annual Meeting attendees.

Agricultural business leaders from throughout the state met in Carlsbad, Calif. for Agricultural Council of California’s Annual Meeting, which was held March 8-9 in conjunction with CoBank’s Pacific West Customer meeting.

“Ag Council has continued to grow by partnering with vertically integrated agricultural businesses,” said Brendon Flynn, outgoing Ag Council Chairman and member of Sunsweet Growers, during his opening comments. “That growth is important as we continue to try to navigate the complexity of California’s legislative and regulatory environment.”

Flynn thanked Ag Council’s staff, including President Emily Rooney and Vice President of Government Affairs Tricia Geringer for their tireless work in reviewing the more than 1,000 bills that came before Governor Brown in 2016. Flynn added that 2016 seemed especially challenging when California is “leading the way once again by passing minimum wage and overtime measures that far exceed what is required in other states.”

“It is very apparent that there is a lack of understanding by our elected officials about agriculture and the impacts these laws will have on our producers and processors,” he added. “It is so critical that we continue to be at the table and have input and participation in the process.”

photo 2016ImpactReport_FOR WEB_Feb2017In her annual address, Emily Rooney, president of Ag Council, commented on the challenges of working within California’s political climate. This state was built on dreams,” she said. “California is the place where big ideas take hold. However, we are living in a highly urbanized society and some of those urban dreams may not work within the bounds of our realities. With 95 percent of the state’s residents living in urban areas, the challenge to us is, how do we fit within their dreams?” Citing topics from homelessness to transportation as priority issues for urban legislators, Rooney went on to say, “If you took your aggie hat off for a minute and thought of yourself only as a Californian, I would think that these priorities are also concerns for you. We probably have more in common than we think.”

To continue reading a wrap-up of the 98th Annual Meeting, and to view photos, click HERE.

Ag Council Releases Impact Report

Ag Council released its 2016 Impact Report during the annual meeting detailing public policy advocacy efforts in the regulatory and legislative arenas on behalf of our members.  Click HERE to access the Impact Report.

Clinton Shick Honored with California Cultivator Award

During the 98th Annual Meeting, Ag Council honored Clinton Shick with the 2017 California Cultivator Award. Shick is a life-long farmer from McFarland and served on the board of Blue Diamond Growers for more than 30 years during which time he helped lead the cooperative through unprecedented growth as chairman from 2006 through 2014.

Clinton Shick headshotSincere congratulations to Clinton for this deserving award, which honors an individual who has made significant contributions to agriculture or who has demonstrated leadership and personal commitment beyond the normal expectations of a person serving the farmer-owned business sector.

Click HERE to read more about Clinton Shick.

Take the Annual Meeting Survey

If you attended Ag Council’s 98th Annual Meeting in Carlsbad, please help us plan future meetings by responding to a brief survey available HERE.

Thank you, in advance, for your feedback.