California creates drought resources website

The California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) has developed a drought resources web page, which is intended to be a central location for information about the drought in California and assistance programs available to farmers, ranchers and farmworkers. The web site is also available in Spanish.

The page features links to the USDA’s Risk Management Agency, the Farm Services Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Rural Development. There is also a link to the US Small Business Administration. All of these groups have programs that could be of help to farmers and ranchers harmed by the drought.

Additionally, there is a link to the California Department of Community Services and Development, which partners with private, non-profit, government and community-based organizations working to help low-income individuals and families. The partners include four regional migrant and seasonal farmworker agencies that can help with rental assistance, employment services, and food and nutrition services.

Additional information, including updates on state and federal resources, will be provided as it becomes available.


World Ag Expo to host California water forum, Feb. 13

Agency officials will address California's historical drought, its anticipated impacts and water supply actions during World Ag Expo's Water Forum on Thursday, Feb. 13, from 12:30-3 p.m. at the International Agri-Center's Heritage Complex, Tulare, Calif.


Texas animal health experts discuss show animal health, emerging issues

Veterinarians and animal health representatives from across Texas recently gathered at Texas A&M University to discuss issues involving show animals and exhibitors.

“The purpose of this meeting is to start dialogue with practicing vets about unique challenges facing exhibitors and show market animals,” said Dr. Ron Gill, AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist, College Station. “There are some unique challenges with animals going straight from the home environment to the show and they may need special medical treatment at the show.

“Because of zero-tolerance policies for any kind of residue from approved drugs or any kind of pharmaceutical product, veterinarians need to be able to communicate that to the families at home when asked for consultation,” he continued. ”They then have to make a decision that the animal can be treated and be shown, or be treated and left at home.”

“Livestock shows are critical events for our youth,” said Dr. Russell Cross, head of the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M. “Those animals coming through the shows basically become food. We need to make sure we are following all of the rules and also consider what is best for the animal.”

Many attendees said the meeting was the first of its kind bringing together veterinarians and academic professionals to discuss show-animal health. Organizers said interest and attendance was high, leading to possible future meetings to discuss other issues affecting show animals across Texas.