Fresno County Farm Bureau opens leadership class to applicants

The Fresno BeeJune 10, 2014 

The Fresno County Farm Bureau is enrolling students for its 12th Future Advocates for Agriculture Concerned about Tomorrow (FAACT) Leadership Development Program through July 25.

Classes are $400 for bureau members and $500 for non-bureau members, which will include Farm Bureau membership. Commencement for the 11th FAACT class was held Monday and honored 12 students from varying backgrounds, from farmers to credit unions to a certified public accounting firm.

"The reality is, in this area, you're going to have clients or donors or someone you know in the agricultural business," said Ryan Jacobsen, executive director of the Fresno County Farm Bureau. "Agriculture is No. 1 in our area. There are lots of challenges and issues we address that they can't get any where else."

FAACT curriculum includes land use planning, immigration and labor, air quality, water quality regulations, and the economic viability of agriculture, among other topics. Classes will run for eight months with one day-long seminar held each month beginning Oct. 6.

Since the Fresno County Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, Jacobsen said that the money from the program's tuition will go back into running the program. The money will be spent providing food for attendees and transportation to farms for hands-on learning.

Fresno is one of 53 counties that belong to the California Farm Bureau Federation and is also part of the American Farm Bureau Federation, according to the Fresno County Farm Bureau website.

The reporter can be reached at htraceynoren@fresnobee.com or on Twitter @HtraceyNoren

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