Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Trinity County forester wins CFBF discussion meet

From the California Farm Bureau Federation:
Following a discussion about the need to reform the nation’s immigration policy, a Trinity County man earned top honors in the California Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers and Ranchers Open Discussion Meet. Dan Dresselhaus of Weaverville received the award today during the 98th CFBF Annual Meeting in Monterey.

Molly Fagundes of Tulare County was judged first runner-up in the contest; Amber Simmons of San Luis Obispo County and Brie Witt of the San Joaquin Country were the other finalists.

In the final round of the contest, the four finalists were asked to address the question: “American agriculture depends on a foreign-born labor force. How would you draft a national immigration policy?”

Dresselhaus pointed out that the issue of immigration is a “highly emotional topic, ranging from open borders to isolationism.” Central to solving the issue, he said, is to reach a compromise between finding the employees farmers need, while also honoring the country’s laws.

“We need to look at reforming our guestworker program to make it more timely and flexible,” Dresselhaus said. “We also have to discuss solutions on how to bring the current workforce that is here illegally into the current workforce (legally).”

As the Discussion Meet winner, Dresselhaus earned $5,000 courtesy of sponsors Farm Credit, Rabobank and Chevrolet. The first runner-up, Fagundes, received $1,000; the other two finalists each earned $500.

Dresselhaus, a registered professional forester with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, will represent California during the American Farm Bureau Federation Open Discussion Meet, to be held at the AFBF Annual Convention next month in Phoenix.

The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of more than 48,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members.

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