February, 2010

Farm Bureau Newsletter-February 2010

Presidents Message

We are definitely in a New Year.  And with that New Year, we have had more rain. In January, we received over six (6) inches for the month.  The ground is wet, the grass is getting greener and you have to be careful when and where you drive.  And, it has been relatively warm.  Yes we have had a couple of low snows and some folks like that and others don’t.  Me personally, I have seen enough cold weather for a while.

Just before Christmas, my wife, my kids and grandkids left by plane to visit my two daughters and their families in Iowa.  We spent 3 days in Denver because of the weather and when we finally did make it to western Iowa, via Omaha; we saw nothing by cold, snow, more cold and blowing snow.  Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time as long as we stayed indoors.  One of my son-in-laws took me to a farm auction, a couple of good ole boys decided to rent out the ground.  It was outside, the wind was blowing and I was ok as long as I stood out of the wind, behind a tractor tire or grain cart.  I made it through most of the day with my meager clothing.  Everyone there looked like they were in an insulated Carhart bib overall commercial.  By the end of the afternoon, my legs were moving very slow, but I made it and no one knew I was freezing.  It had snowed about 24 inches before we got there and 12 days later they still had that same 24 inches.  It never got above freezing, and every time the wind blew, it moved that same 24 inches somewhere else, across the road, up against a building, or some other inconvenient place.  When we left to come home, it was -22 degrees F.  I was reminded of two things.  One, we have great weather in Tuolumne County and Two, Spring, Fall, and Summer are far better times to visit the Midwest.

New Years Resolutions?  I really don’t care if you call it a “resolution” or not, but now is a great time to work on weed control around your buildings and improvements. That grass is mostly water right now and if you get a good spray job on it, it will totally disappear before summer, although you may have to spray new sprouts again later.  By working to keep that dry, combustible material away from you buildings and improvements, you may find yourself fire safe this summer.  Food for thought-if all our buildings and improvements had good fire clearance, and then if a wildland fire started, the fire department can work at putting out the fire instead of protecting the homes and barns and allowing the fire to spread unchecked.  Our state budget is not sound and Cal Fire may not have as many dollars to utilize this fire season.  It is a great time to begin protecting yourself.

As a final note, I would like to reference two articles that were in the recent American Farm Bureau newsletter.  One article was by Bob Stallman, AFB President and it dealt with “enough is enough” and we need to change our tactics about our defense of our livelihood.  The second was on the next page and it dealt with AFB’s task force on the US Budget.  Both are worth your time to read.