Funding is part of $43 million to help states bolster security of farms and food systems
STOCKTON—California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr. joined United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Ann Veneman at the Stockton Airport this afternoon to announce that USDA is releasing $5,034,869 to the state of California as part of the national homeland security effort. These funds are part of more than $43 million being distributed to states to protect agricultural resources and the nation’s food supply.
“California applauds these important measures to protect and secure our vital food supply,” said Lyons.“ Our state leads the nation as a provider of safe and nutritious foods, and we look forward to cooperating with USDA in this effort to bolster agricultural security. This new funding will help us protect a valuable resource—our food supply—from our farms to your table.”
“These grants are an important component of the Administration’s continued efforts to strengthen homeland security protections for America’s food and agriculture,” said Veneman. “States and local communities, academia and the private sector are all critical partners in making sure we are prepared in the event of an emergency.”
Veneman and Lyons, both natives of California agriculture and the San Joaquin valley, have forged a cooperative relationship on several issues of agricultural security in recent months. From facing the the threat of foot-and-mouth disease, to controlling soil-borne anthrax cases, to detecting and combating invasive pests and diseases, the two leaders have maintained open lines of communication and have encouraged their agencies to share knowledge and experience.
The NFACT coalition, formed by the agriculture secretaries and commissioners of the states of New Mexico, Florida, Arizona, California and Texas, has worked together to resolve various agricultural issues, including farm and food system security measures. Their collective effort to raise the issue of agricultural security contributed to the current round of federal funding to protect the food supply. The five coalition states received more than $13 million, or 30%, of USDA’s $43 million in homeland agriculture security funds.
California’s $5,034,869 allocation will be used for a rapid detection and diagnostics network ($2.9 million), animal disease response ($1,513,459), plant pest and disease protection ($350,000) and animal disease surveillance ($271,410).
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814