By Tito Sasaki
At Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s Annual Great Sonoma Crab & Wine Fest you may have seen our board of directors prepare tables, serve wine and clean-up after the event. Even though these chores are important for us, the main tasks of our directors are to set policies and participate in the activities that are designed to help our members.
Every one of our eighteen directors participates in one or more of the following nine standing committees:
Natural Resources & Environment Committee provides necessary information to the full board for taking actions on land use, environmental, regulatory and related issues. It maintains a list of current issues, prioritizes and analyzes select issues, and makes recommendations for the board. Committee Chairman is John Azevedo, first vice president of Farm Bureau. John, a resident of Healdsburg, is grower representative for Jackson Family Wines, based in Santa Rosa.
Membership Committee is responsible for building stronger membership. It sets long term and annual membership goals, devises best strategies to attain the goals, and works with the staff and other directors in membership drive. The Membership Committee is headed by Steve Dutton, second vice president of Farm Bureau. Steve, a resident of Sebastopol, owns and operates Dutton Farming with his brother Joe and is a partner in Dutton Goldfield Winery.
Agricultural Education Committee aims to strengthen the position of agriculture in society through education. It oversees Ag Day events, coordinates 4H and FFA as well as Farm Bureau Foundation programs, and secures funding to support these programs. Walt Ryan, a resident of Santa Rosa and the owner of Ryan Ranch in Bodega, is chairman of the Agriculture Education Committee.
Animal Resources Management Committee monitors surface water quality of grazing and dairy lands and ensures its compliance with the Clean Water Act. It organizes monthly meetings (Nov-Apr) of the member ranchers and the regulatory agency, provides continuous education on water quality issues, and secures funding for its activities. Jana McClelland of the McClelland Dairy in Petaluma is chairwoman of the Animal Resource Management Committee.
Labor and Safety Committee plans and coordinates educational workshops and programs on labor and safety issues. It works with both employers and employees for promoting safety practices and updating of labor laws and safety regulations. Farm Bureau treasurer John Bidia, a resident of Santa Rosa and the vineyard manager for Korbel in Guerneville, is chairman of the Labor and Safety Committee.
Bylaws Committee assures compatibility of board actions with bylaws by recommending the board possible ways of resolution if any conflict is found. Norm Yenni of Sears Point Farming is chairman of the Bylaws Committee.
Nomination Committee provides necessary information to the board for selecting candidates for board’s appointments. It is chaired by Doug Beretta of Beretta Organic Dairy in Santa Rosa.
Budget and Finance Committee supports the board in keeping the organization financially sound. Working with the staff it prepares the annual budget and sets long-term financial goals. It also examines monthly financial data for their integrity and adherence to the budget before presenting them to the board for approval. John Bidia chairs the committee.
Executive Committee includes the Past President, President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary (Executive Director), and the chairmen of committees at Sonoma County Farm Bureau. It coordinates recommendations of committees before they are presented to the full board; assigns tasks to committees, and takes action on urgent matters on behalf of the board subject to ratification. The Executive Committee is chaired by the president of Sonoma County Farm Bureau.
Membership of the first five committees is open to any qualified Farm Bureau member. If you are interested in serving, please contact the Farm Bureau office at 544-5575. We would benefit greatly from your expertise and energy.