It has been a busy couple of weeks for CCM staff. Yesterday we hosted Issues and Eggs with Congressmen Jim Costa and David Valadao. We are extremely happy with the outcome of this event and would like to thank all our growers who came and participated. I would especially like to thank Congressmen Costa and Valadao for taking the time to come speak candidly with growers about the issues we are all facing every day. It was refreshing to see how representatives from both sides can come together to support agriculture in our state.
On the federal level we have a lot to be proud of lately. We have secured appropriations for our HLB programs which offset grower funds and are working on additional research dollars for a citrus breeding program in Parlier. For this, many thanks go to Congressmen Valadao and Costa as well as California Senators Padilla and Feinstein and many others in the California delegation. We are also pleased to report that the grapefruit marketing order is back in effect for the upcoming season. This will limit imports of grapefruit that cannot meet the juice maturity standard. We will have more updates on this in the months to come.
Closer to home, the California State Legislature is getting ready to wrap up session next week. That means decisions are getting ready to be made on several proposed bills impacting citrus. Most notable of which are the ban on residential use of neonicotinoids, a well drilling bill that would prohibit permitting agencies from approving new wells or alterations to existing wells in basins classified as medium to high priority, and UFW’s latest updates to card check that adds labor neutrality provisions. All three of these bills have the potential to make it to the governor’s desk for signing. Whether he will or not, of course remains to be seen. In the meantime, we are actively lobbying the legislature to prevent passage and working to secure vetoes from the Governor.
There’s a lot a stake right now and we here at CCM are engaged and working hard to ensure favorable results for all citrus growers. To assist our efforts, we encourage you to get to know your local representatives and communicate your priorities as frequently as possible. At the end of the day, you may find that you have more in common than you thought with those making the decisions that affect us all.
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