In the near future CAFA will launch another membership drive to help the association do its job to protect the alfalfa and forage industry. The grower-led board of directors has established an effective agenda that is getting results despite a shoestring budget below $50,000 annually. The key to success has been a dedicated board of directors who work without compensation, plus the help of growers and other industry members who support CAFA. It has been successful and the membership drive is important for the entire alfalfa and forage industry.  

Like other CAFA members, board members pay their annual dues like everyone else, which range from $50 to $150 per year. (See below for membership dues.) Approximately 90 percent of all the money that’s collected comes from annual dues. Of the 11 board members, eight are growers who are located in four regions in California — Intermountain, North Central, South Central, and Desert region.

Unlike other large commodities, alfalfa’s statewide production and other factors make it more difficult to form an assessment program. However, a well-run voluntary organization can have an impact and develop a strong voice. As stated on several occasions, our association’s affiliation with the National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance has opened CAFA’s ability to be more active in developing contacts with members of Congress and regulatory agencies in the capitol.

It’s not uncommon for non-members to ask what they get for a CAFA membership and it’s a fair question. If you’re a grower, hay broker, seed producer, or anyone who benefits from the alfalfa/forage industry, the first answer to the question is CAFA works on your behalf and it’s the only organization you can turn to that’s dedicated to the industry.

A grower board member recently put it in perspective by saying: “We’re dedicated to addressing problems day-in and day-out, and year-in and year-out.” He went on to say there’s “very little time to deal with issues, but CAFA can and does its job to fulfill our mission.” If you’re not a member and join, the annual dues will help support your industry and your own business, as well.