Now that the CAPCA Conference has concluded for 2017, I would like to reflect back on what our focus is now and into the future. The theme of this year’s conference was “Guardians of the Green.” So what does that mean for CAPCA? PCAs are a big part of why production agriculture has been so successful throughout the years. We protect crops from many pests that endeavor to harm them. We ensure that the crop has the right balance of nutrition for maximum yield. We work closely with our growers to come up with solutions whenever a problem may present itself. PCAs are a vital part of food and fiber production that feeds and clothes California, the nation and the world. As PCAs we should be very proud of this and never be afraid to tell our story. When there is a chance to talk to people that may not know what we do, take the opportunity to educate them about where their food comes from and how safe it is. We all know that without the use of modern technology we cannot continue to feed the world as we do today. There are many special interest groups out there that want to take away our tools and do harm to the agricultural industry. We cannot allow this to happen!
At the conference, there were talks by myself, George Soares (our lobbyist), and Paul Wenger (president of CA Farm Bureau), with the same recurring theme. We must become involved or risk losing the ability to do what we do. We must take CDPR to task when they propose added restrictions on certain chemicals when it is not warranted. We must question why they are proposing added buffer zones around schools when there are already laws in place for this purpose and there are no issues to warrant added buffers. We must not allow legislators to introduce bills that ban certain chemicals just because some environmental group tells them it’s a good idea. Science has to rule the day and changes in regard to chemical use must be proven by sound science and not emotion or because some special interest group demands it.
As I stated at the conference, it takes money to play in this game we call politics. That is why it is so important that we have a strong Political Action Committee (PAC) fund. Please be a part of the solution to allow our profession to continue providing food and fiber to the world. It’s not about how much you can give, but that you get involved and give.
As I said at the conference, “Our American freedom is not free, it is stained with blood,” and our freedom to do our jobs is not free, it takes getting involved and doing what it takes.
Our future and our children and grandchildren’s futures are depending on us to do the right thing. Just Do It!