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Future Advocates for Agriculture Concerned About Tomorrow (FAACT)

 

The mission of the FAACT Program is to cultivate community champions who will advocate for long-term economic vitality of the region and to provide in-depth information and education on critical issues affecting Fresno County’s number one industry – agriculture.

Fresno County Farm Bureau’s FAACT Leadership Development Program was created in 2003 to educate business and agribusiness leaders, community advocates, and current and prospective policy-makers about the myriad issues involving food and fiber production in Fresno County. For many years, FCFB had focused its educational efforts in the classroom to help increase agricultural awareness among schoolchildren and educators. The FAACT Program extends a unique educational experience to adults, focusing on providing a comprehensive overview of current issues such as air and water resource management, immigration reform, urban sprawl, and economic development. The eight-month program provides participants with the tools they need to make informed decisions about agriculture with the hopes of becoming informed advocates for the food and fiber industry.

The FAACT Program is aimed at educating those local and regional policy makers who are called upon to make decisions that impact farmers and ranchers. This can be done through direct participation in the program by the policy makers themselves or their staff, and through helping educate business and community leaders who can effectively advocate and educate policy-makers on behalf of agriculture.

The target audience for FAACT is persons who have demonstrated community leadership potential and have a desire to become educated about food and fiber production. The FAACT Program looks for candidates who understand business and the relationship of a healthy business climate to a strong regional economy.

For more than 10 years, over 100 class alumni have participated in the eight sessions per year, learning from the more than 150 presenters who have provided facts and perspectives on the diverse issue areas. The alumni members include representatives from both public and private sector, such as legislative staff, agricultural financing and real estate, public water agencies, law enforcement, farmers and agricultural-related businesses. This current class includes a City of Fresno Council member.

Class participants are provided the opportunity to become involved in FCFB’s advocacy efforts. Currently eight FAACT alumni serve on FCFB’s Board of Directors and committees. FAACT alumni have joined FCFB leaders on advocacy trips to Sacramento and Washington D.C. to lobby on state and federal issues, respectively.