Last month we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau. What the Greater Modesto Chamber of Commerce does for business in Modesto, the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau does for the agricultural community. They promote and preserve agriculture in Stanislaus County, provide assistance to the agricultural community and education for farmers. As the Chamber is the voice of business, the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau is the voice of agriculture. Basically we share the same goals: the success of our members and our community.
The Chamber is proud to be a member of the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau. We support their efforts in educating the community about the importance of agriculture. We also support their efforts in advocating for agriculture, particularly when it comes to the numerous regulations that our farmers have to contend with. We support the need to preserve ag land. Agriculture and ag industry is, after all, the foundation of our local economy.
At the same time, Modesto faces high unemployment, growing poverty and the very complex issues that come with such. Its not as simple as growing from within. We need more business that will bring revenue from the outside and into our community; core business that will put people to work. Only then can we raise the income levels of our community and sustain the retail spaces that sit empty and that need to be redeveloped in Modesto.
Frankly, we need the help of the agricultural community to put our population to work and to reverse the growing poverty trend. We need representatives from agriculture at the table when we talk about economic development for the Greater Modesto area. Modesto is our County Seat. It should be a city that celebrates our agricultural heritage. Bringing more ag industry into our community will help Modesto and our local ag community.