The LWV California is concerned that the Agriculture Update study material is delayed.  While we understand that the consensus reports are not due until the beginning of April 2014, we know that the study material is needed in order to fully engage local study committees and members in a robust discussion leading up to the actual consensus meetings.  Those discussions – via social media, in our newsletters, on our websites, at general meetings, and just informally among members – are key to both engaging members and gaining a really strong participation, consensus report and resulting position.

In a recent update study in California – of our Initiative and Referendum position – we learned that trying to do a complicated update study in the months between the November election and the end of March led to meetings that sometimes felt rushed, and members who didn’t always have a full understanding of the implications of the consensus questions.  And this was with study material that was fully available in the late summer before the study was due.

We know that delaying the consensus reports presents a number of issues for the LWVUS board and staff, but urge that the board seriously consider the implications of a hurried study and potential resultant less-than-ideal position.

Helen Hutchison

LWV California


Delaying consensus

Despite the assertiion that the focus of this study is narrow, it covers a very wide range of topics, all of which are of interest to us in San Joaquin County.  Ours is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the U.S., and we need time to give all these matters the attention they deserve.  It is alarming that we cannot expect to see the consensus questions until after November of this year.  The January to April timeframe for consensus meetings is much too short.  We had hoped to have a national consensus position on GMOs and accurate food labeling in place before the November 2014 election, but not at the expense of shortchanging the other important matters with which the GMO issue has been bundled.

Jane Wagner-Tyack

LWV San Joaquin County

Solid outcome is most important

I totally agree that a solid consensus is far better than one rushed to meet a deadline.  And we've been wondering when we would get the needed materials for this study.  Just wishful thinking on our part out here as we've had a number of requests from members and the public to address GMO's and some other agricultural issues.  Farming plays a major role in Butte County's economy and this update study will hopefully draw in some new members to our local League.

Jane Wanderer


Possible delay in consensus deadline

I see no real problem with a delay,  I was a co-chair of the recent LWVUS Education Study and there was no connection with when it was board adopted and the convention--no workshop to explain the findings, no proposed advocacy.  This is very different than our local studies which are adopted by the membership at our Annual Meeting.  Until we see the study materials it is hard to plan programming or generate an enthusiastic committee.  I understand it is a broad and complicated issue and the committee may need more time, that only reinforces the same need for our local Leagues.

Joanne Leavitt

Santa Monica

Regarding a delay for consensus

We in Butte County would really like to see the Ag Update consensus occur in a timeframe that would bring the item to Convention in June 2014.  I admit, we do not have balloted elections in our county until June 2014 (Primary) so I appreciate the concerns of my "fellow" Californians.  Let's get moving on this, please.

Jane Wanderer


Delay for a consensus

A new position can be adopted at any time by the LWVUS board. It is always nice to have it in time for a convention, but it is far more important that the study be well done and the position well crafted than that it be hurried up in order to be presented to the members at a convention.

Helen Hutchison

LWV California Board



Helen Hutchison

LWV California