Butte County Farm Bureau’s annual Growers Day Luncheon on Dec. 1 turned into an organizing party for the Tuscan Water District (TWD) and was designed to turn up the heat up on the redistricting process. It resulted in 209 pre-printed form letters to support two ag districts and 26 form letters to divide Chico into four supervisor districts. The day usually features a tradeshow, lunch and education for local growers and advisors.
Farm Bureau Executive Director Colleen Cecil said farmers have been “bashed” and, therefore, the Farm Bureau felt it necessary to use this event for political purposes. I’m told attendees came away with the perspective that each supervisor is representing a “clan” and if your clan is not ag, then you represent someone else’s clan and therefore, it’s a detriment to farmers.
This is an unfortunate characterization of what supervisors do and who we are. All of us respect the hardworking farmers and farm workers in our county just like we respect the hardworking nurses, doctors, teachers, retailers, students, and entrepreneurs. We all play a role in society. One industry cannot and should not dominate a conversation or policy or bully those who may hold a different viewpoint.
I suggested a Townhall might be a good idea to air concerns on all sides. Cecil said it was too late for that.
For the record, I am a member of the Farm Bureau and spent five years promoting agri-tourism and small farms.
— Debra Lucero, Chico