USDA Offering Whole-Farm Revenue Protection

Risk Management Agency Offers Virtual and In- Person “Roadshow” Workshops About Improvements to the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection and Micro Farm Insurance Options

USDA is offering a virtual workshop on Dec. 13 for agricultural producers and stakeholders to learn about the latest updates and improvements to the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) and the Micro Farm insurance options. WFRP and Micro Farm are two of the most comprehensive risk management options available. These insurance options are especially important to specialty crop, organic, urban and direct market producers. Both programs serve as safety nets for all commodities on a farm under one policy and are available in all counties nationwide. The roadshow workshops are part of RMA’s broader efforts to increase participation in crop insurance and educate producers about policy improvements.

Improvements include:

  • Doubling the maximum insurable revenue under WFRP, now up to $17 million
  • More than tripling the size of farm operations eligible for Micro Farm to $350,000 in approved revenue
  • Reducing paperwork requirements for WFRP

Virtual Roadshow Workshop:

The virtual workshop will take place via Microsoft Teams events. RSVP is not required. Attendees will have a chance to submit written questions during the virtual event.

Virtual Roadshow Workshop:

December 13, 2022, 11:00 a.m. ET
Virtual: Join the roadshow meeting

2022-12-12T11:13:30-08:00December 12th, 2022|

State Aid to Help Community Water Systems Amid Drought

Source: California Farm Bureau

The California Department of Water Resources awarded $86 million in financial assistance to meet immediate and long-term water needs for millions of Californians, including for small communities struggling to address drought impacts.

Of the new round of funding, $44 million will provide assistance to 23 projects through the Small Community Drought Relief program. Some of the funded projects to benefit disadvantaged communities include:

• $4.2 million to construct a pipeline in Fresno County from an existing water treatment plant to the community of Mira Bella’s distribution system to support water supply resiliency.

• $3.4 million to consolidate the West Goshen water system into the nearby public water system, Cal Water Visalia, in Tulare County. The unincorporated community is facing a public health emergency due to water quality and water supply issues.

• $2.4 million to the Indian Valley Community Services District in Plumas County to replace 6,500 feet of water distribution pipelines for Greenville. The town is losing half of its water supply due to excessive leaks.

• $2.2 million to the Best Roads Mutual Water Company in San Benito County to construct a new water tank and consolidate the water system with the Sunnyslope Water District. The company is relying on bottled water for customers after two wells failed.

• $1.8 million to Santa Clara County to replace four leaking tanks and expand storage at a Santa Clara County treatment plant.

• $1.6 million for the Redway Community Services District in Humboldt County to construct three new wells and replace and rehabilitate existing tank infrastructure.

To build long-term climate resilience, DWR is awarding $42 million in grants through the Integrated Regional Water Management program. Funded projects include:

• $2.9 million to modify the San Joaquin County Flood Control District’s south distribution system to provide efficient and metered delivery of surface water to farmers to use in lieu of groundwater.

• $2.4 million to the San Diego County Water Authority to construct a pipeline from the San Vicente water reclamation plant to an existing nonpotable pipeline on the Barona Reservation. This will provide up to 250 acre-feet of water per year of recycled water.

• $427,000 to Mariposa County to reconstruct a failing leach field, which is the primary wastewater disposal facility for a community in the Yosemite-Mariposa region.

• $300,293 to the Merced Irrigation District to build a 30-acre water storage reservoir that will store up to 750 acre-feet per year of flood flows in the San Joaquin River region. Stored water will be used to irrigate 2,100 acres of farmland and recharge groundwater. The project will permanently fallow 30 acres of farmland.

• $229,000 to the Eastern California Water Association to develop a groundwater model in the Inyo-Mono region to better understand the amount and flow of groundwater. The groundwater model will serve as a tool to analyze future groundwater conditions and inform groundwater sustainability agencies on new well construction.

The project will benefit the Benton Paiute Reservation. The association will also receive $120,000 to restore 800 acres of instream habitat in Oak Creek and increase flood protection. The project benefits residents of the downstream Fort Independence Indian Reservation.

The announcement of the regional grants is the first phase of funding, with additional funding to be announced through spring 2023.

The Integrated Regional Water Management program has awarded more than $1.5 billion throughout California, which has been matched by $5.6 billion in local investments to help implement over 1,300 projects.

2022-12-07T13:10:59-08:00December 7th, 2022|

Many Growers Are in Great Farming Frustration

Almond Grower said the Situation is Tight

By Patrick Cavanaugh with the AgInformation Network

Zach Fowler is a CEO and Director of Asset Management for Fowler Brothers Farming, based in Waterford. He comments on this growing frustration for almond growers.

“We’re seeing a lot of frustration just with the prices, water regulations, and everything like that. People are very frustrated. They’re just keeping their heads down. But I mean, it’s just… really tightening down on people on what they’re spending and what they’re doing coming up, and whether they’re redeveloping ground or just holding tight on what they can do,” said Fowler.

And Fowler said one of the big troublesome areas is the price of almonds.

“It’s pretty low. It’s an all-time low right now,” Fowler said.

We asked Fowler about those prices. “I know we did see in-shell prices for Nonpareil, around two dollars a pound. And it’s low on all varieties like Independence, you’re looking, like a dollar fifty-five. It’s really low,” he said.

We asked Fowler what he thinks about the near and long-term future of ag, especially with the drought issues

“It’s going to be really tough. If we don’t see any water, it’s going to get tight. And it was tight this year, but I don’t think we saw anything yet compared to what it could be this next season. If we don’t get water and get these reservoirs full and get a good snowpack, which is most important, then we will be in deep trouble as farmers,” noted Fowler.

People commonly think, oh, we just need a lot of rain. Well, we need that snow up in the hills, too, because that’s what gives us our long-term storage.

Yeah, oftentimes the rainfall in the mountains just soaks into the ground. It never makes it down to the valley.

“Exactly. That takes years and years to do that,” said Fowler.

2022-12-05T08:32:47-08:00December 5th, 2022|

Thanks California Farmers!

 

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Contributing Editor

 It’s morning, and as the sun rises over the Sierra Mountains, the California farmer rouses early to plan the day and greet his or her employees alongside their pickup trucks.

Side-by-side, they

  • Walk the orchards of almonds, walnuts or pistachios;
  • Peruse the groves of citrus, peaches, plums, and nectarines;
  • Inspect the vineyards of table, raisin or wine grapes;
  • Survey the fields of lettuce, spinach, broccoli, celery or strawberries;
  • Raise forage to feed their healthy dairy cows.

We are grateful for the dedication of the California farmer:

Who may also be a rancher or dairyman.

Who takes NO days off from caring for their livestock and poultry.

Who follows the legacy of prior generations on the family farm.

Who contributes to our nation’s security by providing abundant, nutritious, and safe homegrown food to eat.

 

We are grateful for the lawful vigilance of the California farmer:

Who checks their email for newly registered crop protection materials to prevent pests and diseases from destroying her crops.

Who adapts to ever-changing, complicated and costly regulations.

We are grateful for the responsible “buck-stops-here” accountability of the California farmer:

Who appreciates the dedication and experience of his employees.

Who follows preventive safety measures, such as providing work breaks, ample water, and shade from the heat.

Who pays her employees well and provides training for them.

Who ensures all equipment is well maintained and furnished with all safety features.

Who follows all best management practices whether industry-recommended or regulator-mandated.

Who adheres to all food safety laws and regulations to prevent food-borne illnesses.

Who tracks her produce at every step in the process from seed to farm to fork.

We are grateful for the versatility of the California farmer:

Who farms more than 450 different crops—from artichokes, asparagus, and avocados, to

zucchini—which we all need to eat for great nutrition and vibrant health.

Who raises the wholesome foods that ought to dominate our plates to prevent obesity and other chronic diseases.

Who produces most, if not all, of the nation’s almonds, walnuts, pistachios, processing tomatoes, dates, table grapes, raisins, olives, prunes, figs, kiwi fruit, and nectarines.

Who leads the country’s production of avocados, grapes, lemons, melons, peaches, plums, and strawberries.

Who tends to his fields of stunning and delicate flowers that make so many people happy.

We are grateful for the ambitiousness of the California farmer:

Who produces award-winning, world-renown wine grapes, and vintages.

Who meets consumer demand for organic, gluten-free, low-fat, locally sourced, family-owned and farmed food.

Who increases the contributive value of California agriculture to the economy by stimulating secondary industries and jobs.

Who increases her yields to feed a hungry and growing world population.

Who contributes towards California’s 15% share of all U.S. agricultural exports (2015).

We are grateful for the conservation-minded California farmer:

Who uses drip or micro-sprinklers to conserve every drop of California’s water resources.

Who spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest in turnouts and valves to move floodwater onto their land, to build checks around open fields to capture runoff—all in an effort to recharge groundwater basins.

Who uses integrated pest management practices by following regulations and approved crop product directions, with an understanding of residues and the risk of pest and disease resistance.

Who uses fertilizers judiciously at the right time, for the right crop, in the right place, in the right amount, using the right methods.

Who installs solar panels to harness the abundant sunshine to power her operation.

Who floods her rice fields to conserve flyways for migrating birds and water for fish to thrive.

We are grateful for the savvy and social-minded California farmer:

Who advocates for his business and understands financing, accounting, insurance, and business and risk management planning.

Who reaches out to consumers (in her spare time) through social media to reassure excellent quality and safety control of their crops and to share their family’s farming legacy.

Who relays her challenges and achievements—the transparent, complex information that consumers want to know.

We are grateful for the accessible California farmer:

Who answers his phone to give directions on crop pruning, thinning and spraying.

Who responds to employee concerns with mutually beneficial solutions.

We are grateful for the generous California farmer:

Who contributes funding for local school gardens, agricultural curricula, harvest festivals, sports teams, Farm Bureaus, political action committees, and AgSafe.

Who donates to local food banks and homeless shelters.

We are grateful for the intelligent, knowledge-seeking California farmer:

Who regularly attends continuing education training on best practices, pest and disease management, and improved food safety practices.

Who stays current on scientific research and recommendations, and who chooses to fund such endeavors, plus industry associations and trade.

We are grateful for the deeply invested California farmer:

Who sends a text to her PCA to schedule a lunch meeting, then gets out of the truck and grabs a shovel to check soil moisture.

Who knows his field and weather conditions, trade and market variables, and employee concerns on a regular basis.

Who sustains the “California” brand known for exceptional quality, nutrition and safety.

We are grateful for the determination, stamina and perseverance of the California farmer:

Who stubbornly, painstakingly pushes for a good harvest despite growing challenges to his livelihood and way of life.

Who knows when to fallow a field, change a crop, or sell her business.

Who stewards her crop as best she can despite stormy weather, droughts, and floods.

Who relies on one paycheck per year, generally, which may or may not cover the cost of his operations.

We are grateful for the integrity of the California farmer:

Who checks his watch to make sure he arrives on time to his children’s parent-teacher meetings and extra-curricular activities.

Who is dedicated to her family, friends, and community.

We are grateful for the Optimistic California farmer:

Who realizes that hard times don’t last forever.

Who anticipates that next year could be better.

Who never gives up.

Who makes every effort to preserve his soil’s health, so it can produce the crop … for next year.

2022-11-23T09:23:36-08:00November 23rd, 2022|

Farmers Fear Zero-Emission Trucking Proposal Could Strand Farm Products

By Caleb Hampton, California Farm Bureau

The California Air Resources Board is considering a proposed regulation to phase out big rigs and other trucks with internal combustion engines and replace them with zero-emission vehicles.

The proposed Advanced Clean Fleets regulation would include vehicles that transport agricultural commodities.

It would follow a 2020 executive order by Gov. Gavin Newsom banning the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2030, and apply to medium-duty and heavy-duty internal combustion vehicles. The proposal would force some federal agencies and trucking companies to begin converting their fleets to zero-emission vehicles in 2024 and prohibit the sale of all new fossil-fueled trucks by 2040.

Replacing these trucks and large delivery vehicles with zero-emission vehicles would augment California’s push to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions. While diesel-powered trucks represent a small fraction of the 30 million vehicles registered in the state, they produce about 70% of its smog-forming gases and 80% of carcinogenic diesel pollutants, according to the air resources board.

During a public hearing on Oct. 27, environmental advocates and industry groups clashed over the proposed rule. Environmentalists pushed for tighter rules and faster deadlines. Trucking industry leaders raised concerns about costs and the readiness of the electrical grid, vehicle technology and charging infrastructure for a statewide transition to zero-emission trucks within the proposed timeframe.

California farmers who rely on trucking companies for the timely transport of fresh commodities have also voiced concerns.

“Their concept is great, but the application is going to be hard,” said Keith Nilmeier, who farms 220 acres of oranges, peaches, apricots and grapes in Fresno County, and runs a trucking business with a fleet of 18 trucks. “They’re trying to drop it way too fast.”

Farming groups have pointed to a lack of rural charging stations and the limited range of zero-emission trucks, which they fear could slow or disrupt agricultural transport.

“Livestock, fruits and vegetables need to be transported in a timely manner to ensure food and animal safety,” Katie Little, policy advocate for the California Farm Bureau, said at the air resources board hearing. “The time required to charge these vehicles, in addition to the time needed to travel to these charging facilities, could jeopardize food security and availability.”

In typical tomato haul, for instance, a truck might travel over 800 miles in a 24-hour period. If the zero-emission vehicle’s range isn’t far enough, the charging infrastructure is not in place, or the electrical grid can’t handle the amount of big rig truck batteries that need to be charged, that could leave vehicles stranded in hot temperatures with thousands of pounds of fresh tomatoes.

State officials are pledging to invest $10 billion over several years to expand charging infrastructure and transition to zero-emission vehicles. But there currently are fewer than 2,000 zero-emission medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles on California roads.

Joe Antonini, owner of Stockton-based Antonini Freight Express, which trucks tomatoes, almonds, walnuts and olives, said, “The infrastructure needs to be built prior to putting in place mandates.”

A coalition of commercial, transportation and agricultural organizations, including the California Farm Bureau, raised concerns about the proposed rule.

“We are extremely concerned that the proposed ACF rule will be unworkable in the real world and could result in compromising the delivery of essential goods and services to Californians,” the groups said in a letter to the air resources board.

Even if the basic infrastructure were in place, trucking company owners say the rule would impose significant hurdles.

Due to the weight of an electric truck battery, trucks could have their load capacity reduced by around 8,000 pounds, forcing companies to operate more vehicles in order to move the same tonnage. And with some of those vehicles sidelined while they charge, Antonini said his company, which has 240 trucks, may need as many as 50% more vehicles to move its freight.

With the sector already facing a driver shortage, the need for trucking companies to scale up their fleets could cause disruptions that impact farmers. “There are so many challenges on the ag side,” Antonini said. “This whole legislation will, in my opinion, have a very negative impact on California agriculture.”

Other farmers and trucking company owners raised questions about the cost of zero-emission vehicles, how long it might take to charge them and how many trucks could charge simultaneously at a single charging station.

“It’s terrifying for me to even think about,” said Tom Barcellos, owner of Barcellos Farms, a Tipton-based dairy farm and trucking company.

The upfront cost of an electric truck exceeds that of a conventional one, though the state’s air board staff project the cost of a zero-emission truck will go down as more models enter the market. They estimate that by 2035 it will be cheaper to buy and operate an electric semi-truck than a conventional one.

Nonetheless, farmers and trucking company owners expressed anxiety over the proposed timeline for transitioning the state’s fleets from diesel to electric. With diesel trucks, Barcellos said, “we can turn the key and go whenever we need to.”

The air resources board is set to hold a second hearing and a vote on the proposed rule in the spring. After a regulation is finalized, it would be subject to a public comment period.

2022-11-16T11:11:56-08:00November 16th, 2022|

Notice of the 2022-2023 Assessment Rate for the California Citrus Research Program

Upon the recommendation of the Citrus Research Board (Board), the California Department of
Food and Agriculture (Department) has established an assessment rate to be levied on California
citrus producers during the 2022-2023 marketing season, which is the period of October 1, 2022
through September 30, 2023. The assessment rate for the 2022-2023 marketing season has been
set at three and two-tenths cents ($0.032) per 40-pound standard field box, or the equivalent
thereof, of all types and varieties of citrus, as defined by the California Citrus Research Program,
marketed by producers and received by handlers or processors during the season. The
assessment rate for the 2022-2023 marketing season is two-tenths of one cent ($0.002) per
standard field box higher than last season’s rate.

In order to facilitate the collection of assessments, each handler or processor of California citrus is
required to remit assessment payments to the Board office on behalf of producers from whom they
receive citrus, including their own production. In turn, handlers and processors are authorized to
deduct such assessment payments from any money owed to such producers. Assessment forms
and additional instructions for reporting and remitting assessments on behalf of producers will be
provided to all citrus handlers and processors by the Board office.

Funds generated by this assessment are used to conduct general production research, a variety
improvement research program, a quality assurance program on agricultural chemical residues,
pest and disease control functions, and other activities pertinent to the California citrus industry.

If you have any questions regarding this assessment rate or the activities of the California Citrus
Research Program, please contact Marcy Martin, President of the Citrus Research Board, at (559)
738-0246, or Steven Donaldson with the Department’s Marketing Branch at (916) 900-5018.

2022-11-03T14:14:10-07:00November 3rd, 2022|

Lynda and Stewart Resnick Pledge $50M to UC Davis for Sustainability Research

Historic Gift Funds New Center for Agricultural Innovation and Research Grants to Drive a Sustainable Future

The University of California, Davis, today announced that philanthropists Lynda and Stewart Resnick, co-owners of The Wonderful Company, have pledged the largest gift ever to the university by individual donors. The $50 million pledge will support the school’s longstanding commitment to address today’s most pressing challenges in agriculture and environmental sustainability.

 

The $50 million gift will establish the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Center for Agricultural Innovation, with $10 million of the Resnicks’ gift to be directed toward annual competitive research grants through the Resnick Agricultural Innovation Research Fund. Their donation also supports UC Davis’ $2 billion fundraising campaign, “Expect Greater: From UC Davis, for the World,” the university’s largest philanthropic endeavor to date.

 

“Protecting and preserving our planet for the future means we must take bold steps and push the boundaries of what’s possible,” said Stewart Resnick, who is also a member of the UC Davis Chancellor’s Board of Advisors. “UC Davis is at the forefront of tackling climate change, developing groundbreaking technologies and solutions to reduce our collective carbon footprint, and creating a more sustainable agriculture system. This gift aims to help our greatest scientific minds rise to the great challenge of our time — the sustainability of our planet for future generations. Lynda, I, and The Wonderful Company are proud to partner with UC Davis to support this all-important work.”

 

2022-10-18T09:30:14-07:00October 18th, 2022|

CDFA Announces Awards for $5 Million for the Beginning Farmer and Farmworker Training and Workforce Development Grant Program

By Steve Lyle, CDFA

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s  Office of Farm Equity announces that it is awarding $5 million in grants for projects throughout the state through the 2022 Beginning Farmer and Farmworker Training and Workforce Development Grant Program. An additional $5 million will be made available in a second solicitation in 2023. The funding for this grant program was made possible through the 2021-2022 California general fund budget.

This program provides support to organizations to enhance or expand beginning farmer and farmworker training/apprenticeship programs. The overall goal of the program is to ensure that resources are dedicated to strengthening support for socially disadvantaged and/or beginning farmers and ranchers in the first ten years of business, and for farmworkers who can improve job security with additional skills training. A secondary goal of the program is to build and grow regional networks to ensure organizations can provide adequate support and training opportunities for those most underserved in the agriculture industry.

“We need new farmers and ranchers in California, and this program is a crucial step in cultivating the next generation of talent in agriculture,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “There is a place for all who have the desire to farm or to improve their skills to become farm managers, and this program will help us focus support to grow opportunities in agriculture.

The complete list of grant awardees and summaries of their projects can be found at:http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/bfftp

Eligible applicants could apply for two types of awards in this program: program planning and curriculum development grants of up to $100,000, or program implementation grants up to $1,000,000 for both beginning farmer training, and farmworker training or workforce development programs.

The following entities were eligible to apply for this program: Non-profit organizations, Tribal Governments and Community colleges. Community colleges were eligible as co-applicants with local partner organizations. Entities receiving funding demonstrated expertise in assisting socially disadvantaged, small-scale farmers, and farmworkers in workforce development programs.

Note — 33 percent of California farms are on nine acres or less and 43 percent of farms have less than $10,000 in sales. Women are primary producers on 32 percent of our farms; only eight percent of California farms are owned by non-white producers according to race; and about 10 percent of farmers are military veterans.

2022-10-13T10:31:54-07:00October 13th, 2022|

Walnut Bargaining Association Asks Handlers to Hold Off on Setting Prices

By Jonathan Field, Walnut Bargaining Association

The Board of the Walnut Bargaining Association (WBA) met last month in Sacramento to discuss the outlook for this year’s walnut crop. Traditionally, this is the time of year when the industry begins to hear estimates from handlers about prices growers can expect to receive for their walnuts. But this year, the WBA is hoping to delay these decisions.

“So much is still uncertain at this time,” said Pete Jelavich, WBA member from Yuba City. “The California Ag Statistics Service (CASS) has set the pre-season crop estimate at 720,000 tons, but many growers believe recent weather events since the estimate was released will reduce yields. We’re also waiting to learn more about global supply conditions and about the volume and quality of last year’s crop that is still available for sale. Both of these factors will play a major role in the price we’ll receive for our walnuts for the new season.”

In general, grower prices for walnuts have been at record lows for the past few years. And while the WBA doesn’t expect things to change dramatically this year, they are cautiously optimistic that things will improve a bit over last year.

According to WBA statistics, last year’s CASS estimate was way off its pre-season estimate of a 670,000-ton crop. The actual crop was significantly larger and eventually came in at 730,000 tons. As a result, actual prices for walnuts were dramatically lower than what was predicted in early fall.

“This year, we could very likely have the opposite scenario,” said Jonathan Field, Executive Director of the WBA.  “The CASS crop estimate is just slightly below last year’s actual crop, but the report indicated far fewer nuts per tree and kernel weights that are much lighter than normal. As a result, the crop may come in lighter than predictions, which would hopefully drive prices up.”

“The WBA has sent a letter to handlers asking them not to jump the gun on setting walnut prices until we know more about the crop size and for some of the unstable market conditions to settle a bit,” said Jelavich. “Growers need to receive higher prices for our walnuts than we have for the past few years. So, we’re asking handlers to work with us and wait until we know more.”

According to Jelavich, the whole reason for the existence of the WBA is to improve grower pricing. But many walnut farmers don’t even know the WBA exists. To combat that, the WBA has recently launched a new website and is funding a series of ads in walnut growing trade publications to help raise awareness about the WBA and what it’s all about.

In short, the WBA is a grower-owned cooperative whose only goal is to help farmers get a fair price for walnuts. They do this by providing walnut farmers with accurate data, global market intelligence and information about actual prices walnut farmers receive from handlers.

“Each year, the WBA collects information about the prices our members have received for their walnuts,” says the WBA’s Field. “This information doesn’t come from coffee shop talk. We get it by collecting pay stubs that growers receive from their handlers.”

Grower pricing information submitted to the WBA is confidential. Name, address and ranch information on pay stubs is redacted to ensure anonymity. Specific information on handler names is also not made public. But the pricing information gathered by the WBA is the most accurate available anywhere. It gives WBA members a really good idea if the price they received was in line with the industry average or below it.

“In many cases, the WBA pricing report has empowered our members to go back to their handler and secure an enhanced payment,” said Field. “Our goal is to help make grower prices more transparent and to hold handlers accountable for paying farmers the right price.”

The WBA is embarking on a membership drive in an effort to help all walnut growers receive better prices.

“The more walnut farmers we have in our membership, the more accurate our pricing information will be and the greater unity we’ll have as a walnut farming community,” he said. “Joining the WBA might be the most important thing a walnut farmer can do to improve prices for walnuts.”

The cost to join the WBA is $2 per ton. In addition to information on prices received from handlers, the WBA provides a host of additional economic and market intelligence that is very difficult to get elsewhere. This includes information on sales, supply-demand issues, trade market pricing, quality, and other global economic trends.

To learn more about the information provided by WBA, growers can register here to receive a sample of WBA reports. The new WBA website includes much more information about the WBA and its benefits of members. Grow

2022-10-06T08:18:10-07:00October 6th, 2022|

California Fresh Fruit Association Reacts to the Signing of AB 2183

The California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) is disappointed in Governor Newsom for
signing AB 2183 (Stone), card check legislation that will strip agricultural employees of their right to
an impartial secret ballot election and employers of their due process rights when they challenge
alleged violations.

President Ian LeMay stated, “On behalf of the Association, we express our disappointment with the
signing of AB 2183 today. Since the veto of AB 616, a similar card check bill last year, there has been
zero engagement with the agricultural industry from Governor Newsom and his administration to find
a solution that best serves California farm employees. AB 2183 will not only eviscerate an employee’s
previously sacred right to a secret ballot in a unionization election. It will also erode the property
ownership and First Amendment rights of agricultural businesses across California. CFFA is also
concerned with the idea of a legislative ‘fix’to the issues in AB 2183 being drafted behind closed doors
with no opportunity for input by all stakeholders. If this is any example of how this bill will be
implemented, agricultural employees throughout California will have no say in their future. Today is
a sad day for California agriculture and California farmworkers.”

LeMay continued, “While the proponents of AB 2183 purported the focus of this bill is on “vote-by-mail balloting” for agricultural employees, it is not. Rather, the only beneficiary of AB 2183’s passage is a specific interested party looking to bolster their diminishing relevance. CFFA is disappointed that Governor Newsom succumbed to pressure from leaders in Washington, D.C. that voiced support for AB 2183. Their opinion on this issue was unwelcomed and should have had no bearing on his decision.”

Lastly, LeMay stated, “The Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRA) has long protected the right of
agricultural employees to a secret ballot election supervised by the ALRB, free of intimidation and
influence by any interested party. The enactment of AB 2183 takes away the right to a free and fair
election process for all farmworkers and could change how agriculture operates in California going
forward.”

2022-10-04T10:41:57-07:00October 4th, 2022|
Go to Top