Ag Secretary Vilsak comes to Central Valley
July 17, 2014
• To announce more drought aid on Friday
• Fifteen minutes in Farmersville
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visits the Tulare County town of Farmersville on Friday, where he is scheduled to announce additional federal aid for rural communities struggling with drought.
The money is expected to help rural communities that have experienced or are likely to experience a significant decline in the quantity or quality of drinking water due to severe drought and other emergencies.
California is enduring its third driest year on record at a time when agricultural, urban and environmental demands for water are at an all-time high.
A study released by the University of California, Davis on Tuesday reported that the drought will cause losses of $880 million in crop revenue, $203 million in dairy and other livestock value and additional groundwater pumping costs of $454 million.
USDA has declared 57 counties in California as primary natural disaster areas due to drought. Friday's emergency funding announcement will come in addition to previous resources announced to help farmers, ranchers and drought-stricken communities in California.
Previous help includes:
• 2,347 payments totaling $47.66 million in livestock disaster assistance for California producers. Up to $100 million is available.
• $25 million in targeted conservation assistance for the most extreme and exceptional drought areas.
• $7.6 million to provide assistance to livestock producers with emergency water needs
• $5 million in targeted Emergency Watershed Protection Program assistance to the most drought impacted areas of California to protect vulnerable soils.
• $3 million in Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants for rural communities experiencing water shortages
Mr. Vilsak’s 15-minute appearance is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. at the Farmersville Community Center, 632 N. Avery Ave. in Farmersville.