The Yolo County Farm Bureau will celebrate its 100th anniversary at a gala dinner tonight in Woodland.
Coinciding with the anniversary, Jeff Merwin will step in as president to replace outgoing Eric Paulsen, who served from 2013 to present. Paulsen also previously served as president from 2003 to 2004.
Paulsen expressed gratitude for the work of the staff at the Farm Bureau and mentioned upcoming challenges his successor would face.
“I have to give credit to executive director Denise Sagara and the board of directors. The staff does an incredible amount of work,” said Paulsen, who also said that the executive director runs the day-to-day operations of the Farm Bureau.
One major upcoming issue, Paulsen said, is that the Farm Bureau would have to incorporate new water pump testing guidelines to ensure compliance with state water board limits on contamination.
“In the past it’s just been surface water,” Paulsen said. “Now it is going to include pump water for testing. This new program is going to be more encompassing, which will begin this spring. The office will be taking on a new challenge — the revamping of a program by the state water board.”
Created by U.S. Congress in 1914, the university and its Agricultural Extension Service prompted the founding of the Farm Bureau movement in California, according to the Yolo County Farm Bureau, and the extension service operated through the nation’s land grant colleges, including UC Davis.
The bureau started with approximately 50 members and today has about 1,300 members, Sagara said.
The first California county to qualify was Humboldt, which formed its Farm Bureau in 1913. The following year, Yolo, San Joaquin and San Diego counties established their farm bureaus.
— Reach Jason McAlister at [email protected]