California-centric priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill will be discussed at a July 5 meeting of the State Board of Food and Agriculture in Sacramento.
The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture – Main Auditorium, 1220 N Sacramento.
“This meeting is the beginning of our outreach efforts to stakeholders to gather input and help shape California’s recommendations concerning national farm programs and policy,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Developing California’s priorities for the 2018 farm bill allow us to help frame the discussion as preparations begin at the federal level.”
The farm bill is omnibus multi-year legislation for major food and farm programs, covering such issues as research, conservation, nutrition, commodities and rural development. The current farm bill will expire in 2018, necessitating action by Congress.
Invited speakers include: Nathan Bowen, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (via Skype); Josh Rolph, California Farm Bureau Federation; Anja Raudabaugh, Western United Dairymen; Cathy Fisher, California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association (CACASA); Glenda Humiston, UC Agricultural and Natural Resources; Eric Holst, Environmental Defense Fund; Jeanne Merrill, California Climate Action Network; and Ed Komski, California State Grange.
Raudabaugh is the executive director of Western United Dairyman, a voluntary organization representing the California dairy industry. She tells Western Farm Press that two of the key issues dairymen will want addressed in the coming Farm Bill are the milk market protection program and the cap on funds dairy producers are eligible for under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
Other speakers planned for the upcoming meeting include Karla Nemeth, deputy secretary for water policy at the California Natural Resources Agency, who will provide an update on water-related issues.
“The farm bill provides us the opportunity to expand national programs important to California agriculture and to further develop programs benefiting conservation, healthy soils and renewable energy that are consistent with our state’s climate change reduction goals, ” said Craig McNamara, president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture.
All meetings are open to the public.
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 representatives and citizens to discuss current issues of concern to California agriculture.
This meeting will be streamed online at: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/LiveMediaStream.html