Lynne McBride Turlock, California Executive Director California Dairy Campaign
What education are you bringing with you to this position?
I obtained a bachelor’s degree in English fromMarquette Universityin Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It has really been helpful given the level of writing and public speaking that I have done over the years. It has been a considerable asset.
Please describe your agricultural background.
I started in 1994, serving as a government relations representative for the National Farmers Union in Washington, D.C. While working for NFU, I focused on farm bill issues, trade issues, as well as environmental and rural development issues. That was a great opportunity to be able to meet face-to-face with lawmakers in the nation’s capital.
Later, I moved and began working in California in 2000. I began my work with the California Dairy Campaign as their director of government relations, and I continued to work also with the California Farmers Union.
While working for CDC and CFU, I’ve focused on a wide range of issues including farm and dairy issues, federal and state dairy farm pricing policies, farm bill, trade and other issues.
What territory will you cover?
What are your new responsibilities?
As executive director, I’ll be overseeing the government relations activities which I’ve worked on now since 2000. I’ll be continuing in that role where I focus on state and federal policies and programs and how they affect dairy producers throughout the state of California.
I’ll also be working more closely with the board of directors to prioritize our policy positions as well as overseeing our office and field staff and expanding our membership throughout the state.
What excites you most about working in your new role?
I think the most rewarding part of my job is representing our membership because we represent grassroots dairy farmers throughout the state of California.
I find the issues that I work on very important because in our current marketplace it’s difficult for producers to receive a fair income for the milk they produce and the hard work that they do on their farms.
I really value my role in being able to advocate for changes both at the state and federal level that will enable them to get more value from the market for the milk they produce.
How will you be of most help to producers in your region or area of expertise?
I have a chance to talk to our membership and our board of directors on a regular basis to get a sense of what the challenges are and what people are thinking on a day-to-day basis.
I think what I bring to the table is my background working on a number of farm bills now and also the work that I’ve been able to do at the state level.
Dairy pricing policy can be very complicated. The more you are able to communicate the details that affect producers, the better. It is important information that affects their ability to be sustainable and continue operating in the future. I think I’m able to bring considerable expertise here.
Why did you choose this company?
I think what drew me to California Dairy Campaign were the goals of the organization’s members and the leaders at that time. Their fundamental goal has been to represent the grassroots dairy producers, because many times in our political system, it’s difficult for them to get their message across at the state and federal level.
I found the policies that they advocated for appealing, such as calling for reforms at the state and federal level to ensure dairy farmers receive a fair return for the milk that they produce.
Our organization alerts lawmakers and policy makers to the costs and other impacts of regulations on the sustainability of dairy operations throughout the state now and in the future. It’s the best membership I could ask for.
What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
Last year, there was a considerable debate on the farm bill and we focused a great deal on that. Now heading into 2012, it’s likely that the farm bill debate is going to continue. One of the issues that we have raised and continue to raise over the years is the impact of the unprecedented level of concentration in the dairy sector and that impact on individual dairy families in California.
What we would like to see in the next farm bill is some way to address the dramatic changes that have occurred in the marketplace and reform our policies so that, given those changes, dairy producers will still able to receive a fair return for the milk they produce. PD