It was a chance for two city slicker politicians to see where their food comes from. State senators Steve Glazer, from the Bay Area, and Ben Allen, from Southern California (as you can tell by his Dodgers cap) toured HMC Farms in Kingsburg last Friday (May 13). Both are Democrats.
Owner Harold McClarty was the host. “They’re here. They care. They want to see what we are doing. I always felt there is a bit of a disconnect between people in Sacramento and people in the city and where their food really comes from,” McClarty said.
He showed the two senators his cold storage facility.
Glazer (D-Orinda) told GV Wire what was the purpose of his visit. “Those of us who live in urban areas take a lot for granted where our fresh fruits and vegetables come from. I am here with Senator Allen to expose him and I where these things are made and who are the folks who are working on it and how we have a great healthy product in our supermarkets,” Glazer said. “This is a chance to get our hands dirty, so to speak, and get a real feel of the wonderful bounty that comes to our stores and our tables every day.
Both senators hope their tour of HMC will lead to smarter votes on agricultural issues.
“Look, I’m from the city. We are just so far from these issues. For me, I was excited to come and spend a couple of days in this area, just to learn, just to hear people, to see them in their own context, learn about the way they do their operations , hear the kind of challenges ” Allen (D-Santa Monica) said. “Just even today, my mind is spinning with all these different infrastructional challenges they have to face trying to run a farm like this. So, I am going have to listen, learn, process and then try to figure out what that means for me in terms of my own policy decisions.”
Glazer talked about his own takeaway. “It means that we have a greater sensitivity to the life on the farm. What all that has to go into producing our fruits and vegetables, the cost of business. The regulation can be good, but also can create a lot of pressures when we want our crops to be competitive with crops from other states and elsewhere in the world. That sensitivity makes a big deal as we try to make judgments about bills,” Glazer said.
For McClarty, it was a great opportunity to have face time with legislators about issues that matter to him. “There are misconceptions about what we do and how we treat labor and some of our issues are regarding that particular piece of what we do,” McClarty said.
Sen. Steve Glazer talks about his visit to HMC Farms
Sen. Ben Allen talks about his visit and the troubles between Gerawan Farming and the ALRB
Harold McClarty talks about hosting the senators and Gerawan/ALRB.
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Contact David Taub
Phone: 559-492-4037 / e-mail
This story was not subject to the approval of Granville Homes.
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