CFBF 98th Annual Meeting

California Farm Bureau's 98th Annual Meeting

December 4-7, 2016

Hyatt Regency, Monterey

   Welcome to beautiful Monterey and the California Farm Bureau Federation’s 98th Annual Meeting of members. Every Annual Meeting is important, but this year’s will help set the course for our organization for years to come. Agricultural advocacy has never been more critical. This year’s theme—“Ag Unite: Keep Your Farm in the Fight”—is a reflection on the necessity for farmers, ranchers and allied businesses to pull together to defend and advance California agriculture. 

   Our delegate session will deal with the largest number of policy resolutions we have had in years, a positive reflection on the inaugural year of our Issue Advisory Committee format. In addition, we will discuss several amendments to our bylaws, including our membership dues rates. These discussions go to the heart of our grassroots structure, where the members of county Farm Bureaus hold the fiduciary responsibility for maintaining the viability of our organization. 

   These are challenging times for agriculture, as well as for agricultural organizations including Farm Bureau—meaning the need has never been greater for a concerted effort by all of us engaged in the business of agriculture. Our individual resilience and success is being challenged in such a way that we can no longer think about solutions that serve only our individual needs. We must pool our financial and human resources, our time and talent, to create opportunity for everyone in agriculture. We can ill-afford to allow our individuality to stand in the way of working together for solutions to benefit us all. 

   Because those of us in agriculture have been so effective in adapting to a variety of challenges during the past 30 years, many people outside of agriculture have developed a false belief that we can successfully comply with any new law or regulation—no matter how ridiculous or onerous. But the breaking point is fast approaching, with water being the fulcrum of California’s agricultural future. 

   All of that will lead to meaty discussions of policy and bylaws, but we will also celebrate the accomplishments of our county Farm Bureaus and individual members. One of the highlights of our Annual Meeting is presentation of the Distinguished Service Award. This years’ award winner is Monterey County Farm Bureau member Bob Martin. His selfless dedication to agriculture and Farm Bureau made his selection an easy one. 

   We also have a full trade show of exhibitors this year. Be sure to stop by each of their booths, visit with them and thank them for their support. We especially want to thank our Annual Meeting title sponsor, Farm Credit. 

   California farmers and ranchers epitomize resourcefulness. They are living examples of the “can do” spirit. As we spend the next few days together, let’s renew old acquaintances and make new friends. But most of all, let’s solidify our resolve to work together, in a united effort, to keep our farms and ourselves in the fight. 

   We are Farm Bureau. We are Ag United..