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Schwarzenegger says he has a lot in common with farmers

Herald and News 3/17/04

SACRAMENTO (AP) - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said  Tuesday that he and the state's farmers have a lot in common - and it's not just because he grew up milking cows in rural Austria.

"I think that you farmers and we here at the capital, we have a lot in common.  We deal a lot with a lot of manure," Schwarzenegger said to laughter at the California Agricultural Day celebration in front of the Capitol.

Agriculture is a huge part of California, Schwarzenegger said.  It's one of the state's top three industries, supporting over 1 million jobs and contributing nearly $28 billion to the state's economy.

"Protecting California agriculture is absolutely critical in rebuilding California's economy," Schwarzenegger told the lunchtime crowd.  "And yet farming is always threatened.  Right now it costs too much to do business in California.

"The problem is that farmers cannot pick up their land and leave and go somewhere else, they have to stay here."

Schwarzenegger said he wants to remove some of the obstacles that make life hard for the state's farmers and asked the crowd to sign his worker's' compensation reform initiative, which he pledged to take to voters in November if legislators do not settle on a reform package themselves.





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