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California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Steve Lyle, Director of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462,,

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #07-020
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State Board of Food & Agriculture to host state and local water experts in Fresno February 28, 2007

SACRAMENTO, February 21, 2007 – Whenever California farmers endure an uncharacteristically cold, dry winter, as they have over the past few months, they can’t help wondering if the next drought has already begun.  To take stock of the current state of drought planning and preparedness, California Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura and the California State Board of Food and Agriculture have planned a daylong session entitled “California—Are We Prepared for the Next Drought?”

The event will take place on Wednesday, February 28, 2007, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Scout Island in Fresno. [Scout Island website]

“Farmers have been on a weather-induced roller coaster ride in California lately,” said Secretary Kawamura, “A summer heat wave killed livestock and stressed crops, and now a winter freeze and a general lack of precipitation have caused short-term crop losses and plenty of long-term concerns.”

Presentations by California Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman and by representatives of several regional and local water agencies will help give the agricultural community a sense of the plans already in place and the actions likely to be taken by these authorities in the event of a prolonged drought.  Presenters include representatives of the California Department of Water Resources, the Northern California Water Association, the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, the Bureau of Reclamation, The Santa Clara Water District, the San Luis Water District, the Westlands Water District, the Kings River Water Conservation District, the Friant Water Users Authority, the Kern Water Conservation Association, the Metropolitan Water District (Los Angeles), and Water Agency, Inc.

Two students from Central Unified School District in Fresno also have been invited to speak to the board on the subject of “Educating Students for Drought.”

“Being a farmer in California means being ready to adapt to almost any circumstance,” said Al Montna, president of the State Board of Food and Agriculture. “Our innovative attitude in agriculture urges us to constantly improve our drought management strategies, and this session will give us new information toward that end.”

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture advises the governor and secretary of food and agriculture of findings as they impact agriculture and consumer needs.  The board conducts forums that bring together local, state, and federal government officials, agricultural representatives, and citizens to discuss current issues of concern to California agriculture.

All California State Board of Food and Agriculture meetings are open to the media and general public.


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