CFBF hosts Centennial Celebration at Capitol


Issue Date: July 10, 2019
By Ching Lee
Members of the Esparto/Capay Valley 4-H club, above, brought their livestock to the California Farm Bureau Federation Centennial Celebration at the state Capitol.
Photo/Ching Lee
Mark Lopez, president of the Orange County Farm Bureau, talks to an attendee at the event.
Photo/Kevin Hecteman
Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, takes a selfie with members of the Esparto/Capay Valley 4-H club during the centennial celebration.
Photo/Ching Lee
Tom Orvis, representing the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, talks with Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City.
Photo/Ching Lee
Pat Stayer, left, and Michelle Slade of the Shasta County Farm Bureau engage with visitors at the event.
Photo/Ching Lee

To mark 100 years since the founding of the California Farm Bureau Federation, the organization hosted an event at the state Capitol on June 26 to highlight its history and the state's agricultural diversity.

More than 500 people—including legislators and their staff, state government officials and others—attended the CFBF Centennial Celebration on the Capitol grounds.

The event featured 31 exhibits, including from 25 county Farm Bureaus showcasing their region's agricultural bounty. Other exhibitors included CFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers, CFBF Member Services, Farm Employers Labor Service, California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and 4-H. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, Farm Credit and Nationwide—all of which sponsored the event—also participated.

CFBF President Jamie Johansson described the event as "a continuation of a yearlong celebration of 100 years of California Farm Bureau." He said not only did the event allow the organization to "highlight the breadth and depth of California agriculture, which is the breadth and depth of California Farm Bureau," but it was "a great way to highlight the great families that make up California agriculture."

The event also provided a chance to remind legislators "how fortunate we are," Johansson said. "We are the envy of the world in terms of the type of farms and the diversity of our farms—and the amount of crops that we grow here, so efficiently and so affordably."

Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, presented a resolution commemorating the centennial to the CFBF Board of Directors. The resolution—signed by Cooper and Assemblymembers Jim Frazier, D-Discovery Bay; Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters; Timothy Grayson, D-Concord; Devon Mathis, R-Visalia; and Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield—commended CFBF "for the outstanding contributions it has made to California's diverse agricultural community through its programs and services."

Recognizing CFBF as the state's largest farm organization representing more than 40,000 members, the resolution commended CFBF for "helping agriculture thrive in California" by working with the American Farm Bureau Federation and 53 county Farm Bureaus "to advocate for the protection and promotion of agricultural interests and seek solutions to the problems of the farm and ranch."

The resolution further recognized Ag Alert® newspaper and California Bountiful® magazine and TV series for "addressing timely issues facing agriculture"; FELS for assisting "farm employers with labor management services"; and CFAITC, the CFBF Scholarship Foundation, YF&R and Leadership Farm Bureau for "increasing awareness and understanding of agriculture among California's educators, students, and future leaders."

In addition, the organization was commended for its commitment to "organizing and mobilizing California's farming and ranching families to maximize their ability to engage in national, state, and local policy debates that affect California agriculture."

"Over the past century, the California Farm Bureau Federation has worked diligently through its unique policy development process and active legislative and regulatory advocacy programs to ensure that agriculture remains a thriving enterprise in California," the resolution said.

The centennial celebration will continue through the rest of the year, Johansson said, with CFBF's actual 100th anniversary on Oct. 23.

"We're going to celebrate yearlong because California agriculture is yearlong," he added.

(Ching Lee is an assistant editor of Ag Alert. She may be contacted at clee@cfbf.com.)

Permission for use is granted, however, credit must be made to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item.