Governor Jerry Brown used to stand up for the little guy. Now he’s de-funding important an entrepreneurial program to help kids become farmers, while spending $10 million on an agency that has put 2,500 Central Valley farmworkers out of work.
All the while, Brown is siding with special interests like the UFW, which represents less than 1% of California farmworkers but rakes in a lot of guilt-and-nostalgia money for his political machine.
Future Farmers of America (FFA) helps 469 California kids to become farmers. “Without this program, I couldn’t do all the things I do,” Larry Satter, a junior at Elk Grove High, told Jennifer McGraw of CBS-13 in Sacramento.
Larry is raising a hog under the FFA program that Governor Brown is de-funding from the state budget. He and other FFA students spend hours a day after school caring for their animals.
But the Future Farmers of America have no lobby in Sacramento, and they don’t funnel cash into the California political elite. Neither do farmworkers who don’t pay 3% of their income to the UFW. So Jerry Brown is out to strip Future Farmers and today’s farmworkers of their livelihoods.
Some 2,500 Central Valley grape farm workers lost their jobs last year because of Brown’s out-of-control Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB), which some blame for shutting down a once-profitable vineyard operation.
ALRB spent $10 million in taxpayer dollars to disenfranchise farmworkers who voted on whether to de-certify the UFW as their collective bargaining representative. The vote took place in 2013 under ALRB supervision, but ALRB refuses to count their ballots because a count would show that workers reject the iconic UFW.