Now that Congress has finished work on new legislation setting federal farm policy for the next five years, the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) hopes immigration reform will be a high priority in 2014.
Sasha Farkas, Board Member with the CFBF and past President of the Tuolumne County Farm Bureau, was Thursday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.
In a press release, the CFBF praised a House-Senate conference committee and California representatives for “making the tough decisions” needed to finalize the passed Farm Bill.
According to the CFBF, “The 2014 Farm Bill includes programs that will assist California farmers and ranchers during this drought and with marketing their products, competing globally, preparing for the future and meeting new regulations.
The new farm bill restores programs created to help farmers and ranchers through drought and other emergencies, and includes funding for pest and disease prevention, research, marketing, air-quality projects and food assistance that will benefit Californians.
It will be critical to get these programs out to farmers quickly, especially those to aid people who have suffered losses from drought and wildfires. We will work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to put these programs in place right away.”
With farm programs now finalized, the CFBF said, “Congress should turn its attention to reforming immigration laws that have proven ineffective for agricultural employers and employees alike”.
Farkas said immigration reform has been a priority and a discussion for a delegation of CFBF leaders (including himself), that has been visiting with congressional leaders in Washington D.C. this week.
Additionally, as California’s water situation worsens, the state’s largest farm organization said rural areas face “severe economic problems” from water shortages. The CFBF is working with state and federal government agencies to seek effective responses to the water crisis, in both the short term and the long term.
The CFBF has nearly 78,000 members statewide and is part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members.
The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45am.