Impacts from the historic statewide drought will be discussed at the California State Board of Food and Agriculture meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 25, in Fresno. The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fresno County Farm Bureau, 1274 W. Hedges Ave.

“The impacts of this drought will be significant,” said Secretary A.G. Kawamura of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. “We must work on immediate and long-term solutions to this water crisis.”

At the meeting, the State Board will hear from local businesses and communities impacted by the drought as well as discuss the influence of the drought on the state’s natural resource base. As of December 2008, drought losses within the California agricultural sector are estimated to be more than $308 million.

“Continuing to document the economic impacts of this drought is vital,” said Al Montna, president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. “This will help to determine the amount of technical and financial assistance needed in our communities.”

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture advises the governor and secretary of food and agriculture of findings as they impact agriculture and consumer needs. The 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.

All California State Board of Food and Agriculture meetings are open to the media and general public.