Sacramento, Calif., (December 6, 2017) – Securing the future of California agriculture will require consistent, long-term and unified efforts, California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger said today. Wenger spoke during his annual address at the 99th CFBF Annual Meeting in Garden Grove.
Instant communication as represented by smartphone technology, Wenger said, can lure people into thinking that public policies affecting farms and ranches could be resolved quickly through social media, for example.
But the most effective way to sway public policy, he said, “is long-term, consistent, working with individuals, taking them on tours on farms, supporting them politically, getting them out and educating them about agriculture. It’s not fast, it’s not easy, but those who work the hardest the longest and invest the most are probably going to be successful.”
To influence the debate in a largely urbanized state such as California, Wenger said, means working with government officials, political candidates and elected leaders who may have little if any background in agriculture.
“We have to get out of our comfort zone and start dealing with some people we normally don’t deal with,” he said, adding that he is proud of Farm Bureau’s work in that regard.
After eight years as president, Wenger has served his maximum term in office, and urged Farm Bureau and other agricultural organizations to work together for the greater good of farmers and ranchers.
“I appreciate the opportunity to work with all of you here. I do love this organization and everybody that’s out here,” Wenger said. “We have got to continue to work together.”