Written by David Castellon
While not technically a business, the Fresno County Farm Bureau affects most every business involved in the county’s main industry — farming.
Whether its laws governing farming methods, the fight for water availability or the ongoing immigration debate, the Farm Bureau works to ensure its 3,200-plus members have a voice at the table.
It’s a far cry from the organization’s start 100 year ago, when five farmers got together with a University of California farm extension advisor to form the bureau.
They formed it because the federal Smith–Lever Act of 1914 established the nation’s cooperative extension system. But to get a farm advisor, a county first had to create a general farm organization to disseminate the latest research and findings from the extension services’ affiliated university researchers.
“They were the in-between for the farm advisers who would be conducting research and the farmers and ranchers who could implement those findings,” said Ryan Jacobsen, CEO and executive director of the bureau.
“‘We still do that, but we also advocate and work on governmental issues as well as have a significant role in the community at large,” Jacobsen said.
The Farm Bureau is marking its anniversary with a centennial gala tonight at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District hall.