Farming expert Tommy Harwood presents a brief look back at the history of the California Farm Bureau Federation following news of its latest online impact survey.
With the California Farm Bureau Federation recently releasing the results of its latest impact survey, farming expert and entrepreneur Tommy Harwood takes a closer look at the figures and shares a brief look back at the history of the statewide organization.
“The California Farm Bureau Federation’s latest online impact survey has revealed that more than half of farmers responding to the study have directly lost business as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic,” reveals Tommy Harwood, a farming expert and successful entrepreneur from Humboldt County.
A similar number further reported that they or a family member had also lost indirect, off-farm income as a result of the global health crisis.
“The California Farm Bureau Federation survey clearly shows a significant strain on rural California,” suggests Tommy Harwood, speaking from his home in Whitethorn. “With many farmers and ranchers in California also relying on off-farm income to supplement their agricultural earnings, the figures are a stark reminder of the massive impact of COVID-19,” adds the expert.
The California Farm Bureau Federation was established to protect, promote, and problem-solve for the state’s farms, ranches, and rural communities more generally, according to Tommy Harwood. “Founded in 1919, the California Farm Bureau Federation was initially based on the University of California campus,” he explains, “where it would remain for some six decades.”
Humboldt County, Yolo County, San Joaquin County, and San Diego County had each established their own farming bureaus between 1913 and 1914. “As a statewide organization, however, the California Farm Bureau Federation would, as a collective, allow for the pursuit of broader legislation and other policymaking,” Tommy Harwood reveals.
In 1979, after 60 years at the University of California, Berkeley, the California Farm Bureau Federation relocated operations to Sacramento in order to work more closely alongside government agencies and legislators.
Today, the California Farm Bureau Federation can be found at 2600 River Plaza Drive, Sacramento, close to Willow Creek. “The California Farm Bureau Federation only recently relocated to River Plaza Drive, in fact,” points out Tommy Harwood, “making the move just last year, in 2019.”
The California Farm Bureau Federation, Tommy Harwood says, works tirelessly to protect predominantly family-owned farms and ranches across the state. “They do so,” adds the farming expert, “on behalf of more than 30,000 members, each of whom forms a part of a much larger, nationwide network of over five-and-a-half-million farming bureau members.”
As the ongoing global health crisis continues to maintain its grip on agriculture, the California Farm Bureau Federation will, says Tommy Harwood, advocate for all-new policies designed to help ease the strain faced by California’s farmers and ranchers at local, state, and federal levels.
“New policies, it’s hoped, will help to take some of the strain,” adds Tommy Harwood, wrapping up, “while the California Farm Bureau Federation continues, first and foremost, to protect the health and safety of all affected, including farm employees, retail consumers, and the general public.”