A Farewell Thank You
By John Azevedo, President
Published December 1, 2016
I can’t believe 2 years has already gone by as Farm Bureau president. I’m not sure if time just flies by or if there have been so many issues thrown at us recently that it just exacerbates the feeling. Either way, the time has flown by and this is my last Farm News article. I wasn’t sure what I would write this article about as there are so many issues to write about and so many people to thank, but I really think the most important thing right now is the future of Farm Bureau and how that will affect our voice to protect our property rights and ability to farm.
The strength of Farm Bureau and of any advocacy group lies in three parts. The first of which is our membership. We hope to serve our members well and in turn grow our membership. The more members we have, the more ability we have to gain the ear of elected officials and agencies that are crafting the legislation and regulation we have to run our farms under.
The second key to Farm Bureau’s strength is to be financially sound. It is important for us to be able to be financially independent so that we have those financial resources available as they are needed. This is a constant challenge for all of us as the cost of running a business keeps going up, but financial strength is key to all of our futures.
The third part to Farm Bureau’s strength and future lies in our relationships. The relations we have with our elected officials, government agencies, California Farm Bureau Federation and most importantly our members is the base for our ability to craft and advance the policies of Farm Bureau.
All of you reading this may have already known that these are the foundational components of who we are and what we do. I mention these as they are all things we must continually improve and evolve to serve our changing needs. I say this because all of you reading this can offer valuable insights into any of these or anything else we are doing better than some of us that are inside looking out and I encourage you to do so.
Please reach out to one of your local directors or feel free to call the office at any time and give us feedback. The phone number is 707-544-5575. We need to hear from you how we are doing or where we can improve. So, please reach out to us as I promise our goal is to continually improve on how and what we do. Let us know if you know of anyone who should be a Farm Bureau member too!
On that note I feel that Sonoma County Farm Bureau is as strong as ever. I feel I’m stepping down from my position as president at a time that we have a bright future as the Sonoma County voice of agriculture. I know that we will be ready for whatever is thrown at us, and I have faith in our staff and volunteers for whatever comes our way. I want to say a special thank you to Kim Vail for moving all of the way here from Indiana to come help Sonoma County Farm Bureau take the next step in our evolution. Also thanks to rest of the Farm Bureau staff for all of their years and hours of service and all of the great things they keep making look so easy that are not. Thank you to Steve Dutton and all of the board directors and volunteers for everything they do without any compensation for their time. And last but not least, thank you to all of our members for giving me the opportunity to serve you. Thank you.
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