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News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

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

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #14-008
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Meeting on March 4th at University of California, Merced

SACRAMENTO, February 26, 2014 – The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will focus on drought impacts to the agricultural sector at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday, March 4th in Merced. This meeting will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the University of California, Merced, 5200 Lake Road – Terrace Center (California Room), Merced, CA 95343


“It is important for the State Board and the Governor’s Drought Task Force to hear from local leaders on current drought impacts,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross.  “This drought is going to have significant statewide impacts on many sectors of California’s economy – we are engaging with local communities and with farmers and farm workers to help advise on potential future actions that can be taken at the state level.”


The Governor’s Drought Task Force leaders are traveling throughout the state to meet with local officials to hear how communities are coping with drought impacts. The Board meeting at UC Merced provides an opportunity for the Drought Task Force to update the public and agricultural stakeholders on current actions, including the Emergency Drought Legislation announced on February 19, 2014 by Governor Brown and legislative leaders.  


The Drought Task Force leaders expected to attend are of California Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci; California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird; State Water Resources Control Board Chair Felicia Marcus; and CDFA Secretary Karen Ross.


Invited speakers to the State Board meeting include: Jean Okuye, President of the Merced County Farm Bureau; Tim Koopmann, President of the California Cattlemen’s Association; Bill Harp, Chairman of the Almond Board of California; Marco Lizarraga, La Cooperative Campesina de California; Ilene Jacobs, California Rural Legal Assistance; Diana Tellefson Torres, United Farm Workers Foundation; Lupe Sandoval, California Farm Labor Contractors; Grant Davis, Sonoma County Water Agency; and Dan Nelson, San-Luis Delta Mendota Water Agency. Other invited speakers include representatives from the California Tomato Growers Association, and other local water agencies and grower associations.


“We are pleased to be assisting the Governor’s Drought Task Force in engaging with local communities and stakeholders,” said Craig McNamara, president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. “It is critically important for the task force and the public to learn about the on-farm realities that California growers and farm workers are facing.”


The California State Board of Food and Agriculture advises the governor and the CDFA secretary on agricultural issues and consumer needs. The state board conducts forums that bring together local, state and federal government officials, agricultural representative and citizens to discuss current issues of concern to California agriculture.


This meeting will be streamed online at:


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