The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will convene a meeting to discuss statewide drought impacts on Wednesday, June 24, 2009. The meeting will be held at the Mendota High School cafeteria, 1282 Belmont Avenue, Mendota, Calif., 93640, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

“The continuing impacts of water delivery limitations on San Joaquin Valley communities are dramatic,” said Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura. “We must create a long term solution that creates a reliable water supply for California.”

At the meeting, the state board will hear from city and county officials regarding impacts of the drought on Central Valley communities. As of May 2009, a study from the University of California, Davis estimates that Central Valley farm revenue loss due to drought is $630 million with 35,000 lost jobs and approximately 450,000 acres fallowed. Total income loss from the drought is estimated to be $830 million.

“There has been commentary that a water crisis does not exist and that the impacts in the Central Valley are minimal,” said Al Montna, president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. “As we visit Mendota, the epicenter of this regulatory drought, and hear from farmers and community leaders we hope to better inform this viewpoint.”

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.