The Colusa County Farm Bureau is not just for farmers anymore. In fact, if business owners and residents of the county want to preserve the rural lifestyle they chose to live in, Farm Bureau officials said Tuesday they should join the cause. “The sole goal is to preserve agricultural interests and the farming community… and to come together under one voice,” Rob Faris, of RJ Farms, told the small gathering at the farm-city breakfast. Faris said as more and more small farms are lost to corporate farming interests, development and other factors, the local bureau membership dwindles. “We need members like you to be members of Farm Bureau,” said Faris, a member of the Colusa County Farm Bureau board of directors. Faris said the issues the Farm Bureau take up are not all about farming. He said the local organization got involved in helping to stop a 2009 plan to run 600 miles of transmission lines from Sacramento to Lassen County, which would have dissected Colusa County’s west side. Faris came short of saying the Farm Bureau stopped the project, but said it is a good example of how the organization can be an ally in issues important to county residents other than farmers. “At the end of the day, the Farm Bureau is here to protect the farming community and the rural lifestyle,” Faris said. “And everything Farm Bureau puts together starts in a room like this one.” Of course, the Farm Bureau also takes up the cause in Sacramento and Washington D.C. Faris noted that Gov. Jerry Brown signed nearly 800 bills this past year, and more than 3,000 pieces of legislation were introduced. The state Farm Bureau tracks each piece of legislation that could impact agriculture and the farming communities. Having support of those communities, through membership, helps get the message across. Chris Torres, the vice president of the local Farm Bureau, said agriculture is the economic power in Colusa County, but that agriculture also needs the support outside its own. “We appreciate what all the city businesses contribute to the farm community,” he said.