Agricultural Theft Legislation Is a Victory for California's Farmers

SACRAMENTO – The governor recently signed Senate Bill 224 into law which seeks to protect farmers from rural agricultural theft. In partnership with Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) introduced SB 224 which will provide necessary resources to help law enforcement with their efforts to curb agricultural crime.  

SB 224 will:

  • Create a new category for grand theft of agricultural property.
  • Require that the fines collected be redistributed back to current agriculture and rural-based crime prevention programs.

“I thank the governor for signing this important bill into law. We need to protect and help our hardworking farmers who not only feed California, but much of the United States.

“Farming is not a typical 9-to-5 job. California farmers work long hours, relying on Mother Nature’s schedule. Agriculture is a unique industry, and unfortunately, farmers’ needs are often overlooked. One of those needs is commonsense legislation which seeks to protect them from agricultural theft.

“Tulare County is one of the top-producing agricultural counties in our state. In 2018, the county recorded a staggering $2 million in agricultural theft. For this reason, I partnered with Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux to help our farmers,” said Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove.

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said,” Agriculture is the backbone of Tulare County. Our identity is wrapped up in the success of our farmers, ranchers, laborers and everyone else who is involved and impacted by Ag. When our partners in Agriculture are victimized, we are all victimized. People lose jobs. Prices go up. Livelihoods are lost. I, personally, cannot stand back and watch that happen. Senate Bill 224 is a necessary step forward in much-needed legislation to protect our growers. And I hope our legislators can recognize its importance. It is long over-do.”