Saturday, 15 June 2024

California State Board of Food and Agriculture to focus on drought at April 5 meeting

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will focus on drought issues at its upcoming meeting in Merced.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of California, Merced, Administration Building, Room No. 306, 5200 North Lake Road.

The public can attend the meeting via Zoom; the password is Cdfa!220

Public comment on the drought will begin at approximately 2 p.m.

With the driest first three months of a year on record and reservoir conditions below historic averages, California is experiencing significant drought impacts.

The board will hear from federal officials, local irrigation and water districts, as well as community and farmer stakeholders on drought planning and preparedness.

“This will be a difficult summer for many rural communities in California,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Drought endangers safe drinking water supplies in many communities, jobs for farm workers and livelihoods of farm families. All of us are in this together. We must conserve this precious resource to protect communities, support the environment and assist farmers and ranchers in growing healthy and sustainable food.”

Invited speakers include: Regional Director Ernest Conant, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, California-Great Basin; Josue Medellin-Azuara and Joshua Viers, University of California Merced; Jarrett Martin, Central California Irrigation District; Michelle Reimers, Turlock Irrigation District; Eric Swenson, Merquin County Water District; Supervisor Scott Silveira, Merced County Board of Supervisors and other invited speakers.

“Droughts have become harder to manage for California’s farmers and ranchers,” said President Don Cameron, California State Board of Food and Agriculture. “Less water is available than in years past and flexibilities within the system are constrained. The result is that farmers have fewer options. This cycle must be fixed and California agriculture is willing to help lead the way.”

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture advises the governor and CDFA secretary on agricultural issues and consumer needs. The board conducts forums that bring together local, state and federal government officials; agricultural representatives; and citizens to discuss current issues and concerns to California agriculture.

Follow the board on twitter at

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