CA Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger: We Need to Fix Disconnect
November 1, 2014
This Tuesday, We Urge Yes Vote on Proposition One
By Patrick Cavanaugh
“There is a big misconception between California urban areas and farmers,” said Paul Wenger, a Stanislaus County walnut farmer and President of the California Farm Bureau Federation in Sacramento. “The urban population really doesn’t realize what we do on our farms and ranches. They think we misuse water, they think that we are polluting the environment, and yet they are very happy to go to the store and have reasonably-priced food. This is a major disconnect,” said Wenger.
Wenger noted that all agricultural associations must get the word out about what agriculture does to provide nutritious food for all. “But the best thing is to be more politically active and assert ourselves in the affairs of Sacramento and Washington, D.C.,” he noted.
“While most urban consumers think that farmers waste water, the truth is that farmers have doubled their production with the same amount of water that we have used each year in the last 40 years,” emphasized Wenger. “In fact, many farmers are providing nutritious food using far less water than they had just 10 years ago,” said Wenger. “And this is a problem, because everyone thinks farmers can continue conserving water,” Wenger said.
“We have heard from The Pacific Institute that if we would just use more conservation irrigation and low-flush toilets, we would have ample water for the foreseeable future, but nothing could be further than the truth,” Wenger said.
“With 38 million people in the state and California farmers growing for an increasing world population, we need more water,” noted Wenger.
Wenger urged all Californians to vote YES on Proposition 1, which will set the stage for increased water storage in heavy rain and snow years, which will allow for extra supplies during lean years.