Wednesday, March 4, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

USDA offers a helping hand

By
From page C2 | March 14, 2014 |

A wetter-than-usual February has helped turn the brown hills of California’s coastal ranges and Sierra foothills a light shade of green, and while these rangelands won’t be mistaken for Ireland anytime soon, this precipitation was a welcome relief from weeks of severe drought conditions.

Despite this much-needed rainfall, 2013 was one of the driest years in California’s history. In fact, some scientists think we’re in the midst of one of the region’s driest periods since Sir Francis Drake landed on the California coast in 1579! We will need a sustained period of heavy precipitation throughout the remaining spring weeks to mitigate widespread drought-related impacts during the summer months ahead.

These historic drought conditions have affected all of California’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities. Hundreds of thousands of acres likely will be fallowed throughout California, livestock and dairy herds across the state have been thinned or will be sold off entirely in some cases, municipal water sources are running dangerously low in some rural communities, and thousands of farm workers will be unemployed in communities already hard-hit by turbulent economic times.

In difficult times like these, whether it’s a freeze in the citrus belt, wildfires in the Sierra, unexpected flooding, or in this case, a historic statewide drought, the “safety net” programs offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency can offer a helping hand to affected farmers and ranchers that just might mean the difference between staying in business or closing the barn door for the last time.

The men and women of the USDA are working every day with farmers and ranchers all across California to deliver programs, tools and reliable customer service that will help defray the costs of feed and water for livestock and develop new and permanent water sources for cattle operations.

We’re reaching out with a wide array of loans from low-interest microloans to emergency loans that can help with daily operating costs and other critical needs. We’re working to ensure that the disaster relief payments we make through our various programs are done in a timely and customer-friendly way while still maintaining the highest levels of program integrity.

Finally, we’re preparing to roll out disaster assistance programs next month that will tackle the needs of California’s livestock industry hit hard by a third consecutive year of drought.

These programs, and others contained in the Farm Bill signed by President Obama earlier this year, are a part of a broader commitment that we make to each other as Americans to ensure that the men, women and farm families who grow our food here in California, and all across our great nation, are protected against the sometimes capricious whims of Mother Nature.

The safety net won’t make these farming operations whole, but it will provide some hope and encouragement that better days are ahead and that the rain will fall once again. In the meantime, the U.S. Department of Agriculture stands ready to help all of California’s farmers, ranchers, and farm workers to ensure that in these challenging times, the needs of those who grow and harvest the bounty of our fields are being met.

— Val Dolcini of Davis is the state executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency in California. He may be reached at [email protected]

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Davisite competing for breast cancer ‘Survivor of the Year’

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Cool musicians, hot jazz at Coconut Grove fundraiser

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Guilty verdict in child abduction case

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    UC will freeze resident admissions

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Bob Dunning: Aggies still have all to play for

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

     
    State’s snow levels reach historic lows

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Prostate cancer group looks at massage

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Moore featured at two climate talks this week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Talk breast cancer with oncologic surgeon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    DPNS offers open house Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Public input sought Monday on Northstar Pond

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Documentary on immigration issues will be screened

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Veggie gardening, composting are workshop topics

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Visiting prof will discuss Armenian genocide

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Holmes plans open house Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Nominees sought for Bill Streng Business Award

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Museum brick sales to end this month

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Closing education gap will lift economy, a study finds

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Applications due for Rotary’s leadership camp

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Project Linus meets March 11

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Breakfast with the Bunny tickets on sale now

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Snowbird sings the song he always sings

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Low-flow toilets in our parks?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    It was music to our ears

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Thanks for pet drive support

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Story was an ad for NRA

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Athletes just want time to do their homework

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Let’s not delete Giovanni Barovetto from Davis history

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    .

    Sports

    After a shaky start, DHS stands up to No. 4 St. Mary’s, but loses

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    DHS girls lacrosse coach likes her 2015 squad

    By Dylan Lee | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Hawkins enters the home stretch of brilliant UCD career

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Blue Devils girls stay undefeated ahead of league opener

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    San Jose crushes Canucks behind Nieto

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Sports briefs: Blue Devils drop softball opener

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

    Cousins returns to lift Kings in New York

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    Ringing in the Year of the Sheep with dim sum

    By Ann Evans | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

     
    French-Algerian guitarist weaves acoustic spells at The Palms on Friday March 6

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    California Honeydrops drop in for ‘Down Home’ tour

    By Landon Christensen | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Merna Petersen

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, March 4, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B6