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News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Nancy Lungren, Deputy Secretary of Public Affairs, (916) 531-3039,, Steve Lyle, Director of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #07-016
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Joining the Tour will be Fresno Mayor Alan Autry and City and County Representatives

WHAT: California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura will be touring small farms, including Asian and African American production farms, in Fresno, California on Wednesday, February 14, 2007. Small acreage growers suffered significant damage to their crops due to numerous days of temperatures below the freezing level beginning January 11, 2007 and ending January 22, 2007.

WHEN: Wednesday, February 14, 2007, 1:30p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
               1:30 p.m.- Private meeting
               2:15 p.m.- Press availability
               2:30 p.m.- Tour of farms

WHO: Secretary A.G. Kawamura
           Mayor of Fresno, Alan Autry
           President Nisei Farmers League, Manuel Cunha,
           Fresno County Chairman of the Board of Supervisors District 5, Bob Waterston
           Fresno County Supervisor District 1, Phil Larson
           Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner, Jerry Prieto
           Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner, Gary Kunkel
           Kern County Agricultural Commissioner, David Moore
           Fresno City Council Member, Jerry Duncan
           Fresno City Council Member, Blong Xiong
           Scott Family Farm, Will Scott Smith, Jr.
           Executive Director Small Farm Resource and Training Center, Toulu Thao
WHERE:  The group will meet at the Nisei Farmers League office at 1775 N Fine Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727 for a private briefing, followed by a media availability, and tour of the farms.

WHY:  Small acreage growers, such as Southeast Asian and third-generation African Americans farmers, were significantly affected by the severe cold temperatures in January, including readings well below freezing.  Those cold nights and early mornings damaged their agricultural crops, and many of them do not have crop insurance. Secretary Kawamura will tour their farms to better understand the impact of the freeze on small acreage growers and report back to USDA Secretary Mike Johanns his observations.

DIRECTIONS: To Nisei Farmers League Office: Traveling North: take CA 99 North to CA 41 North to CA 180 East, take the Chestnut Avenue exit and go straight, turn left on North Chestnut Avenue, Right on East McKinley Avenue, slight Left on N Fine Avenue, end at 1775 N Fine Avenue. Traveling South: take CA 99 South, take the CA 180 exit towards Kings County/Mendota/Airport (Exit 133), merge onto CA 180 East, exit Chestnut Avenue and go straight, Left on N Chestnut Avenue, Right on E McKinley Avenue, slight Left on N Fine Avenue, end at 1775 N Fine Avenue.

Note to editors:  Prior to the tour, Secretary Kawamura will attend a panel discussion on the farm bill at the World Ag Expo in Tulare. The discussion is scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. and will occur at the Heritage Complex.

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