First and foremost, I would like to thank the people that make up
our County Farm Bureau staff such as Katherine Ziemer, Executive
Director and Mary Ann Renner, Office Manager in our county office,
working diligently on all of our local issues day in and day out. I also want
to thank all of our Board Members who attend our meetings regularly
and are part of our committees. Together we stand strong for our local
agricultural issues at hand.
I have noticed that over the course of the years of growing up in
the agricultural community that we have evolved. This is due in part to
communication, changing science, politics and a plethora of other things
that have created this change. Along with this, I believe there has never
been a better time to look at changing the way we do things. We often
speak of a desired result. We also talk a lot about the path that we need to travel to achieve that desired result. Unfortunately, the desired result that we want has become unattainable by traveling down the same path we have always traveled with uncontrollable change.
One of the things that are needed more now than ever is retaining and creating new membership. Although we are extremely comfortable at our county level as far as financial stability, we have a rather large deficit at the state level that we need to be concerned with. One of the ways to close this deficit is to retain and create new membership. We have come up with some immediate solutions to this problem but need to think about long term solutions. We need to change the way
we think about approaching individuals for membership.
Another issue that has raised its head in the last few years is the sustainable ground water management act at the state level. This was an act that was implemented in 2014 by the State Department of Water Resources. The condensed version of this Act could mean potential permitting and monitoring of all groundwater wells with an emphasis on Agriculture. Because of the California State Farm Bureau being involved with the shaping of this act, we are able to help form what this looks like for Humboldt County Ag. I, among others from Humboldt County Farm Bureau, have actually been on the steering committee the last few years trying to help design this to have minimal impact on Ag here in Humboldt. We so far have seen success.
I am involved with the state Farm Bureau’s Leadership program and flew to Washington DC to discuss forestry issues with some legislative folks in May of this year. It was an exciting opportunity to see our nation’s capital and continue discussions with our concerns on Ag.
In closing, I am honored to be the current Humboldt County Farm Bureau President. I am proud to say my Dad, Bill Rice, was once our HCFB President as well. I remember it like it was yesterday. I recall stopping in the same office as a little boy with my dad as I do today for monthly board and occasional committee meetings. I didn’t understand the importance of what he was doing for our Ag community and the time volunteered and sacrificed to continue the cause of good healthy affordable food grown locally. I do now and am proud to be a part of this great organization we call Humboldt County Farm Bureau.
I personally want to say THANK YOU to those who are members and helping with our common goal which is to promote and protect Agriculture in Humboldt County.
Ryan Rice, President HCFB