America still does not have a farm bill and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is seeking public assistance on the matter.

Vilsack was at California State University, Fresno on Nov. 20 to promote the farm bill, which he says will create jobs for rural America and generate a host of other benefits to enhance the economy.

Vilsack championed rural America as the source of America’s food security and the place where students, like those he spoke to at Fresno State, should seek entrepreneurial opportunities. He encouraged students there to consider careers in rural America to shore up American agriculture.

“I think too few people in America appreciate what Rural America contributes to the rest of the country,” Vilsack said.

Want access to the very latest in agricultural news each day? Sign up for the Western Farm Press Daily e-mail newsletter.

In highlighting rural America’s contributions he pointed out that it is where much of America’s surface water for urban areas comes from.

One of the many challenges Vilsack highlighted in his 45-minute speech was the inadequate storage facilities for surface water and the “difficulties balancing the needs of growing cities with the important role water plays in agriculture.”

While Vilsack was pointing this out, the California Department of Water Resources was gearing to make public its decision of a 5 percent allocation of water to State Water Project contractors in 2014. The net result will be hundreds of thousands of acres of fallowed farmland in the coming year and less food available for domestic use and export.

“Around the country, since agriculture represents 50 percent of the land mass of the United States, it impacts and affects a significant amount of the water supply for this country,” Vilsack said.