“We look forward to making sure that industry gets regulations that make sense,” he said. “Pesticides and fertilizers are major ingredients of ag’s success. Often times pesticides have a rough road in that they are heavily regulated and biotech and pesticides have become bad words.  But feel proud of what you do,” he told the audience. “These products are an integral part in the success of agriculture and will be key players in feeding 9 billion people in the next 25 years.”

The conference wrapped up with a panel discussion about the future of regulation in California presented by WPHA CEO/President Renee Pinel, Cynthia Cory of the California Farm Bureau Federation, and George Soares, a well-known attorney in agricultural issues in California and across the nation.

Cory noted the importance of using “social media” to combat environmental activist groups who have learned to use it so effectively to spread their anti-pesticide and anti-conventional farming messages. She pointed out that agricultural groups must become more engaged in defending themselves through social media networks in efforts to counter the negative publicity being generated by activist organizations.

Soares noted the urgency of simplifying complex agricultural concepts to educate the general public and especially legislators. He stressed the “genius in simplicity” and that currently regulations impacting industry are being driving by a populace that doesn’t fully understand agriculture. Pinel pointed out that regulations seem be more “philosophically and politically driven” instead of taking into account sound scientific principles that agriculture depends upon to succeed.

In a nutshell, the agricultural community is well aware that relationships with state government regulators are imperative. To have regulators involved and knowledgeable about the various intricate methods and systems utilized by successful farming operators is key to guaranteeing a sustainable, affordable and plentiful food supply going into the future.

And remember, the largest segment benefitting from these healthy relationships is the consuming public itself – and there’s a lot to be said for that.