Agriculture

IMG_7490Agriculture is the lifeblood of California, which is why I am dedicated to supporting the success and wellbeing of all of our State’s farmers. I have spent a great deal of time speaking with farmers, laborer, farm bureaus, and unions members, and have gained tremendous insight into the challenges and struggles our farmers face. From large scale commercial agriculture to family farms, permacultures, and community supported agriculture, I will support legislation that puts our farmers first. I will fight to end unnecessary regulations and bureaucracy that are crippling our farmers and our economy.

In the most recent legislative session the California legislature in 2016, 3500 bills were put forward between both houses. 1/2 of all these bills were aimed at agriculture issues. We don’t need more laws and regulations. We need to bring all of the stakeholders together to devise long-term, sustainable action plans with permanent funding to ensure proper servicing of the farmers of California.

I propose and will put forward legislation as your state senator to place a five year moratorium on implementation of all new agriculture regulations in California, in order to allow the farmers of this state to analyze and assist me in deciding which regulations should be modified or done away with to meet all of California’s farmers needs. Let us give the farmers of this state the time to adapt to the new guidelines, and then move forward with future regulatory regimes only if the farmers of our state not Sacramento see a need for it.

Sacramento does not provide the incentive to farmers to improve or invest in new technologies. As they are left scrambling every year to meet the new regulatory burdens and taxes put forward. It leaves them no time to buy new equipment, invest in long term labor, or provide for their businesses. It is time for California farmers to not just break even, but make a profit, employ good labor at living wages, and have the freedom to invest in new technologies to meet the farming needs of the future.

To comply its current state environmental regulations on water usage alone, the small farmer in California has to pay between $300 to $600 per acre foot of water. Currently with a population close to 40 million citizens, and 80% of our water going to agriculture, it is imperative that we find sustainable solutions. Band aids are no longer sufficient. When elected, I will immediately implement technological innovations Districtwide to reduce our water consumption and end this crisis.  An organic soil optimizing formulation I have researched is on average reducing consumption of water by 50%, fertilizer by 80%, and pesticides by 90%, while producing 200%+ yield increases on virtually any crop. The city of Irvine, CA is already using this formula with phenomenal results, especially for water reduction, and we ought to take their example. Other solutions that work with soil fungus and mycelium produce excellent results, and all of these innovations must be explored. Another potential solution is desalination that incorporates mineral renewal especially magnesium and other essential minerals to properly meet California farmers water needs.  Alternative irrigation systems that sense water saturation are producing profound reductions in water consumption. Techniques from permaculture and indigenous societies also provide solutions. There are so many resources and solutions that are already available that we are just not taking advantage of

If our state keeps electrifying agriculture pumping units instead of using fuel based pumps as we have for over 100 years in California we risk further damage to our fragile and limited electric grid. We need to reduce the regulatory burden so farmers can choose for themselves which system to use. We need to build a bridge between the current means of energy production (nuclear and hydroelectric) to build the long term sustainable energy market to meet all of California’s needs.

I am a strong supporter of sustainable agriculture and ranching, permaculture, organic, local, and school and community based farming. I believe this is the way of the future and necessary for the planet and our own survival. We need to be moving towards this and supporting this transition, but I also believe in supporting all farmers. We need to support and protect our commercial agriculture and farms of all sizes and kinds, because we depend on them and ought to honor them, not sabotage them.

I thank all of California’s farmers for your tremendous service, sacrifice, and tenacity, and promise you that when I am elected, I will fight for a new era of opportunity, abundance, and respect for each and every one of you.