COVERED AT MODESTO TOWN HALL MEETING
SACRAMENTO, September 14, 2006 –After a very unpredictable year of weather, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) joined with other state and federal agencies to host an Agricultural Disaster Recovery Town Hall Meeting today at the Stanislaus County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office in Modesto to inform ranchers and growers of assistance that may be available to them following the July heat wave.
The damage caused by the heat wave prompted Governor Schwarzenegger to write a letter to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Mike Johanns requesting a disaster designation for affected counties. Secretary Johanns responded last week by announcing such a designation.
“We are thankful for Governor Schwarzenegger’s efforts and for Secretary Johnanns’ prompt response with a disaster designation for 16 counties,” said CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura. “This opens the door for the pursuit of federal legislation to fund disaster relief.”
Representatives from the USDA and its Farm Services Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES), the California Farm Disaster Assistance Loan Program, and county offices of agriculture and emergency services attended the meeting to give details on how farmers and ranchers can apply for assistance to help them recover from damage done by the heat wave.
“Damage assessments are still preliminary, as consequences of the heat wave are still being realized,” said Secretary Kawamura. “A preliminary assessment estimates more than half a billion dollars in crop and livestock losses.”
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814