This November, Californians will be voting on Proposition 2 – the ‘Standards for Confining Farm Animals Statute.’ As a 4th generation family farmer, I oppose Prop. 2 – a risky, dangerous and costly measure for California that, if passed, will:

Californians need to understand that Prop. 2 is not about the treatment of animals, instead it is about the standards for housing egg-laying hens. California’s current housing standards are the most stringent in the nation protecting farm animals’ well being and keeping our food safe.

The California Egg Quality Assurance Program (CEQAP) is a strict set of food safety standards that 98% of California egg farmers adhere to. These standards are credited with helping control egg-associated Salmonella enteritidis in the state. In the near decade since CEQAP was implemented, there’s been no reported case of Salmonella from California eggs. National and state laws and inspections are in place to ensure the highest level of care, sanitation and safety of our hens.

In addition, nearly all California egg farmers (95%), including my family’s farms, adopted the United Egg Producers (UEP) Animal Care Guidelines that were developed by an independent group of scientists, experts in food safety and animal welfare. Following modern, science-based guidelines ensures humane, quality care for our hens. Climate controlled barns protect our hens from predators, extreme weather, contact with migratory fowl and diseases like the bird Flu (Avian Influenza) or Salmonella.

Proposition 2 also has significant impacts on our state’s economy. According to the recently released UC Davis economic impact study, Prop. 2 will eliminate almost all of the state’s egg industry in five years and further harm the state’s economy due to resulting job and revenue losses.

The long-term effects of Prop. 2 – the UN-SAFE Food initiative, will be the elimination of safe, fresh, locally-farmed egg for California families. Costs will continue to go up, quality and safety will be compromised, it’ll weaken California’s number one industry, agriculture, and it’ll hurt our environment with a significantly increased carbon footprint with eggs trucked in from out-of-state and Mexico. Consumers will likely pay triple for eggs at the market and restaurants when they’re already struggling with gas prices, housing and other groceries.

My concern is that we are able to continue to farm and produce safe, local food using sound science. Being the 4th generation of my family farming enterprise, I’m hopeful California voters will realize we have been doing what is best for the welfare of our hens and the safety of our food for more than 99 years. Keep our food local, fresh and safe.