Taking up the Torch

Written By: Jeff Carlton, President
Published: January 3, 2019

I will never forget when I first became involved with Farm Bureau. At a Young Farmers and Ranchers meeting a great friend, Sam Dolcini, gave an incredible speech that motivated me to get active. Another great friend, John Azevedo, got me to become a member. Twenty years later, I am ecstatic that I became involved in this organization that promotes and protects agriculture. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a vineyard manager for the Dutton Family in Sebastopol. I am a past county chair for YF&R and was on the state YF&R committee for 6 years where I served as the state chair in 2009.

I have been on the Sonoma County Farm Bureau Board of Directors since 2010. Now, it is an honor to serve as your president. I am thankful for the guidance and hard work of our board. It is a privilege to work with so many of our leaders in agriculture. In the last two years as vice president, I witnessed, firsthand, the hard work that Steve Dutton gave to our organization. His dedication motivates me to strive for continued success in Farm Bureau. Next time you see Steve at an event around the county please thank him for his leadership and service to our organization.

Last month I attended the California Farm Bureau Federation 100th Annual Meeting in San Diego. Farm Bureau is a family and I truly enjoyed catching up and developing policy with everyone from across the state. Every year I see the hard work our counties are doing and leave the meeting motivated for the next year. We have many bright years ahead of us and a lot of hard work to get there.

Here in Sonoma County we have much to look forward to in the coming year. Our YF&R group will be hosting the annual YF&R State Leadership Conference here in February. I hope you are as excited as I am to see the continued success of their group. The Sonoma County Farm Bureau continues to be on the forefront of formation of the GSAs and how they will impact our farmers and ranchers. This year we will begin discussions about forming our new General Plan and the potential impacts to agriculture, or better yet, the many benefits it provides to our county. The agriculture discharge permits have been implemented in Region 2 and we will continue to be involved in Region 1 discharge permit formation, which is ongoing. None of this would be possible without our Executive Director Tawny Tesconi and tremendous staff. They work tirelessly to fight for agriculture and our members. I look forward to seeing all of you at the Crab Feed next month and the Love of the Land event this summer. I hope you had a good 2018 and cheers to a great 2019.

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To represent, protect and advance the social, economic and educational interests of the farmers and ranchers of Sonoma County.