AMB attorney Amber Simmons was one of the finalists in a recent competition at the California Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Reno. The Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet was a competition where contestants throughout the state debated timely agricultural issues. Participants were evaluated on their ability to discuss their opinions and ideas, specifically including what the Farm Bureau as an organization and its individual members can do to solve the following problems facing today’s agriculture industry:

– Balancing agriculture’s water needs and historic water rights with maintaining vibrant communities and meeting growing urban water demands;
– Protecting, encouraging and gaining public support of producers’ ability to use new technology;
– Protecting livestock producers from false accusations on animal welfare and husbandry practices;
– Gaining public support for right-to-farm laws and growers’ more fundamental right to farm; and
– Strengthening the Farm Bureau’s political voice by influencing favorable state and local policy for farmers and ranchers instead of having federal regulations.

A $500 cash prize was awarded to Amber from the competition, which was sponsored by Chevron, Farm Credit, Rabobank, Southern California Edison and the State Compensation Insurance Fund.

Amber has always been drawn to issues facing agriculture businesses, coming from a family with deep roots in the Santa Maria Valley farming community. With experience under her belt in the legislative and regulatory enforcement side of agriculture, Amber’s legal practice concentrates on the legal needs of AMB’s agriculture and business clients. As a member of both the SLO and SB County Farm Bureaus and a board member of the Santa Maria Valley California Women for Agriculture, Amber is very involved in supporting the needs of local agriculture businesses.

The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of more than 53,000 members state-wide. They are part of a network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members across the country.

Photo Credit: California Farm Bureau Federation