Sacramento, California - The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will be hearing from state officials and agricultural organizations on proposed programs regulating agricultural discharges on irrigated lands. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street – Main Auditorium, Sacramento.
“We have seen continuous improvements by farmers and ranchers in protecting water quality and the agricultural sector remains a strong partner in ensuring and promoting a safe drinking water supply” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “The public process on the proposed revisions to the discharge requirements is an opportunity for farmers and regulators to come together on practical solutions.”
Earlier this month the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) announced a public comment period concerning proposed revisions to agricultural waste discharge requirements for the Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed. These proposed revisions, if adopted by the SWRCB, would serve as a precedent for protecting water quality in irrigated lands throughout the state.
In addition to the discussions on the irrigated lands regulatory programs, the Board will also hear a water update from the California Department of Water Resources and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Invited speakers include: Director Mark Cowin, California Department of Water Resources; Stafford Lehr, California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Samuel Boland-Brien, SWRCB; Jeanne Chilcott, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board; Dr. Charles Burt, Chair of the Agricultural Expert Panel – SWRCB; Darrin Polhemus, SWRCB; Dr. Barzin Moradi, California Department of Food and Agriculture; Parry Klassen, East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition; Abby Taylor-Silva, Grower-Shipper Association of Central California; Daniel Merkley, California Farm Bureau Federation; and Lester Snow, California Water Foundation.
“As farmers we deal with a variety of water related issues that are largely unnoticed by consumers,” said Craig McNamara, president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. “Communicating this information is critical to help improve the understanding that farmers not only produce food and fiber, but are also promoting a healthy environment.”
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