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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 #15-026
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SACRAMENTO, May 28, 2015- The complexity of drought impacts and a wide range of public perceptions will be discussed at the next California State Board of Food and Agriculture meeting on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 ‘N’ Street – Main Auditorium, Sacramento, CA 95814.
“In the fourth year of this drought, agricultural water allocations in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys have been reduced even more significantly than in previous years,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “How we respond to this drought – and prepare for future droughts – depends on our ability to work together as Californians with a great diversity of perspectives and expertise as we pursue long-term solutions.”

Invited speakers include: Richard Howitt, Jay Lund and Josue Medellin-Azuara from University of California-Davis, who prepared a study on drought impacts in 2014 and are updating those findings; Roxi Beck of the Center for Food Integrity, a non-profit organization working to build and maintain confidence in the modern food system; and media representatives Alissa Walker of Gizmodo, Nathanael Johnson of Grist, and Tom Philpott of Mother Jones, who will share their perspectives on drought perceptions in the public and the media.

“The extreme nature of our drought puts California agriculture in the public spotlight and creates continuing misperceptions about farming,” said Craig McNamara, president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. “We welcome the opportunity to have a free-ranging discussion of these critical issues.”

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:

Follow the board on Twitter at:

To learn more about the state's drought response, visit Drought.CA.Gov

Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at


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