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California leader advocates for farmers

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The home district for California's speaker is San Francisco, and she also chairs the state's high-speed rail caucus.
The home district for California's speaker is San Francisco, and she also chairs the state's high-speed rail caucus.

Agricultural issues hold a very high priority for Fiona Ma of San Francisco.

As speaker pro tempore of California, the third-term Democrat also chairs the state's high-speed rail caucus. She represents a district that is projected to serve as an anchor of the state's high-speed rail system. From a hub in the region she represents, the high-speed line will extend 520 miles south to Los Angeles. State officials project the line to be in operation by 2020.

But, while keeping an eye on high-speed rail developments, Ma will still advocate for farmers. She has learned to hold high regard for the connection between farm and city, the Orland Press Register reports.

"Farming is a business, and farmers are good stewards of the land," Ma said earlier this month while serving as one of five panelists who were discuss farming and agriculture issues at a farm show. "It's not always easy with the regulations we have."

The Colusa Farm Show is located in a district further north and holds voters who typically prefer policies more conservative than those she holds. However, though she and those voters hold views that differ from one-another, she said she'll continue asserting for those who till the land.

"It is crucial to do whatever we can so (people) can keep their land and farm on it," Ma said.

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