News Release
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Media Contact:
Steve Lyle, Office of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462,
Release #03-053
New report that demonstrates value of federal funding to be presented

SACRAMENTO – CDFA Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr. is urging California’s agriculture industry to throw its support behind a new push for federal funding for specialty crop needs. The issue will be discussed at a forum on specialty crops and other agricultural topics to be hosted Wednesday, August 13 by Central Valley Congressman Dennis Cardoza. The forum is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. at the Fresno City Hall Council Chambers.


At the forum, Secretary Lyons will discuss a new report, The Specialty Crop Block Grant, which will highlight the numerous benefits to California agriculture following a $64 million federal grant in 2001. The money was used to create the Buy California Initiative, a multi-faceted program of advertising, promotion, marketing, education, research, and food safety measures.


“We can clearly demonstrate the value of specialty crop funding,” said Secretary Lyons. “The message we wish to deliver to congress is that this is a great idea worthy of long term support.”


Secretary Lyons has already joined with his fellow secretaries, directors and commissioners at the Western Association of State Departments of Agriculture (WASDA) in a resolution urging funding for specialty crop needs in the 2004 Agricultural Appropriations Bill. Secretary Lyons serves as President of WASDA.




Secretary Lyons and Congressman Cardoza will appear at two media availabilities prior to the forum. The first, at 11:30 a.m. on August 13, will be a conference call. Media may join by calling 888-455-9642 and entering the pass code 18233.


The second availability will be at 12:15 p.m. at Fresno City Hall. 



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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814