ECPAC advances the interests of the Exchange Contractor Landowners by influencing property rights, water rights and California Agriculture policy and regulations.
The Exchange Contractors Political Action Committee (ECPAC) was founded in 2004. The purpose of the organization is to influence the political landscape as it relates to farming, property rights, agriculture and water. Corporations, organizations, individuals that are US Citizens, and other ag-related entities may also contribute and support these efforts. An oversight committee oversees the ECPAC.
ECPAC is a non-profit, non-governmental organization governed by a volunteer oversight committee. A President and Treasurer provide leadership and direction. Landowners, farmers and contributors working in the San Joaquin River Contractors Water Authority service area are eligible to serve.
Paul Parreira, Sr.
Paul Parreira is a California native and a third generation Agriculturalist with over 40 years of experience in almond farming, hulling and shelling, processing and marketing, and byproduct market development and sales. Paul’s extensive farming experience also includes row crops, wheat, tomatoes, cantaloupe, and livestock management.
Paul cofounded Parreira Almond Processing Company (PAPC) in 1973 with his parents, Louis and Barbara Parreira and brother, David Parreira. PAPC is an almond hulling and shelling business serving nearly 30,000 acres of growers across California as well as 1800 acres of their own land. In 1986, Paul cofounded RPAC, LLC with David Parreira and Ned Ryan. RPAC, LLC is an almond processing and marketing company supplying quality California almonds to customers in the United States and over 80 countries globally. RPAC’s processing, packaging, and marketing capabilities have now reached 100,000,000 pounds kernel weight annually.
Paul is also a co-founder of HermetiaPro, a Black Soldier Fly vertical farming company, converting agriculture and food waste products into high protein livestock feed and nutrient rich fertilizer.
As a graduate of the California Agriculture leadership program focuses on alternative energy, uses for almond industry co products, long-term strategic planning, business development, sustainability and innovation and regulatory legislative issues for the companies. Using innovation and technology, Paul’s focus is ensuring operations are sustainable, resilient, and quality remains exceptional in a dynamic environment.
He serves as Vice Chair of CDFA Feed Inspection Advisory Board, Vice Chair of Biomass Working Group with Almond Board of California, Chair of Co-Products committee with Almond Alliance of California and President of Exchange Contractors PAC. He is also actively involved in the local community and was a long-time member of the Merced County Spring Fair Board and help found the Spring Fair Heritage Foundation. Paul is a graduate of California Agriculture Leadership Program, class 44, and is currently serving a six-year term on the California Agriculture Leadership Foundation Board of Directors.
Cannon Michael is the President/CEO of Bowles Farming Company. He is the 6th generation of his family to work in the family farming business. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Cannon joined the company in 1998. Cannon became the President and CEO in 2014 after his uncle Philip Bowles retired. Cannon is an advocate for California agriculture and intelligent water policy. Environmental stewardship, ethical treatment of workers and sustainable production are core values for Cannon and the Bowles Farming Company team. The farm grows 20+ crops and employs both conventional and organic farming practices.
Cannon is active and engaged in California water and agriculture issues – he serves as the Chairman of the San Luis & Delta Mendota Water Authority, as a director on the Water Education Foundation Board, as a director on the San Luis Canal Company Board, as a director on the Henry Miller Reclamation District Board, as the president of the San Luis Resource Conservation District Board, advisory board member for UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI), advisor to Terravion and WaterBit (two technology startup companies), as a director for the Family Farm Alliance, as Treasurer for the Exchange Contractors PAC, as a director of the Cotton Incorporated Board, and as director and past chairman of the California Cotton Growers Association. He was also appointed by Governor Brown to the Merced County Designated Local Authority, a governing board responsible for winding down the affairs of dissolved local redevelopment agencies in Merced and Los Banos. He also serves in an advisory capacity for three family-run farming/processing companies in the Central Valley.
Natasha is a third-generation farmer in the San Joaquin Valley. She and her husband Chris own and operate Chris and Natasha Crivelli Farms where they grow cotton, corn, alfalfa, wheat, and almonds. They also grow, pack, and ship melons across the United States and Canada through their produce company, Golden C Natural Foods, which they formed in 2009. Their operation also provides custom farming services to over twenty neighboring farms.
In addition to their farm, Natasha is a Speech-Language Pathologist within her local school district. She earned a Bachelors of Science in Communicative Disorders from California State University, Fresno, a Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of the Pacific, Stockton, as well as a Certificate of Clinical Competence. Natasha serves as President of the Merced County Spring Fair Board and sits on the Merced County Heritage Foundation Board.
Natasha is currently a member of California Ag Leadership Class 50.
Since September of 2018, Chris White has served as the Executive Director for the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority. As Executive Director, Chris is responsible for representing at the local, state and federal level in protecting some of the most senior water rights in California.
Prior to his position at the Exchange Contractors, Chris was District Engineer with the Central California Irrigation District (CCID) in 1993 developing and implementing the District’s ambitious Water Conservation Plan. He became CCID’s General Manager in 2000, responsible for implementing Board policy direction and remained in that position until July 24, 2019.
Chris was Vice-President of Stoddard and Associates, an engineering and land surveying consulting firm in Los Banos, California. The company specialized in water resources planning and construction, civil engineering services, and land surveying services, for many local cities, irrigation districts and landowners in the San Joaquin Valley. He obtained his California Land Surveyors License in 1983, and his Registration as a Professional Civil Engineer in 1991. Chris is also a California Agricultural Leadership Foundation graduate of Class 43.
John A. Wiersma
Mr. Wiersma is the General Manager of San Luis Canal Company and Henry Miller Reclamation District. Prior to this role, he was employed at Merced Irrigation District (MID) since 2011. During his time there, he served as Senior Engineer and Planning Analyst. He moved his way up to the position of Manager of Water Operations, prior to leaving MID. John is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum and serves on numerous committees for various water agencies.
John and his wife Amanda have four children. In his spare time, John enjoys roping and spending time with his family.
John, his wife Amanda, and their three children make their home in Turlock California.
Darcy F. Villere
Director Villere was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, moving to California in 1987 where his mother’s family has farmed since 1949. J&J Farms has farmed in Firebaugh Canal Water District since that time where they currently farm 1,491 acres of pomegranates, almonds, tomatoes, cotton and pistachios. J&J farms an additional 1,197 acres in Westlands Water district that adds wine grapes to their overall mix. Mr. Villere has been working for his family farm starting in 2011, where he manages new projects, water management and other finance related issues. Mr. Villere is the 3rd member of his family to sit on the FCWD board, following his grandfather CW Jones and his uncle Ron Jones.
Mr. Villere is a graduate of San Francisco State University with a BA in Theater Arts and a Master in Business from the University of San Francisco. He lives on the family property with his partner Angelica and their infant son Nicolas.