Salinas, Calif., (May 15, 2017) – On Tuesday May 9th, the American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall came to the Salinas Valley for a tour of local Ag operations. Accompanying Mr. Duvall were Paul Wenger, California Farm Bureau Federation President, and staff members of both American and California Farm Bureaus.
President of the American Farm Bureau Federation since 2016, Zippy Duvall is a third-generation farmer from Georgia. In addition to a 300-head beef cow herd for which he grows his own hay, Duvall and his wife, Bonnie, also grow more than 750,000 broilers per year.
Prior to being elected AFBF president, Duvall served for 10 years as president of the Georgia Farm Bureau. Duvall’s long leadership history in his home state includes service on the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers Committee and Georgia Farm Bureau board of directors. He has made a goal of visiting all 50 states to see Ag production in his first year as AFBF President; we were honored that he selected Monterey County as one of his destinations in California.
After a roundtable lunch with MCFB Board members at the MCFB Office, the tour made stops at an artichoke field near Spreckels, a lettuce thinning operation in Soledad, a cannabis production facility on the East Side, and the Spreckels Crossing housing project. The aim was to give as much of a flavor of local Ag production as could be squeezed into a four hour tour.
Mr. Duvall was impressed with our local Ag fields, noting the uniformity of the lettuce fields. We showed him a number of crops he had not seen in production before, and he was quite impressed with the MCFB Offices and our meeting rooms (remember, only CA has County Farm Bureau offices, other states do not).
This next week, our MCFB Board President Colby Pereira will be traveling to Washington, D.C., with CA Farm Bureau on their Spring Legislative Trip. High on the list of important topics to discuss during legislator visits will be labor and immigration, as well as nitrates and crop protection tools.