DAVIS, Calif., Sept. 22, 2016 – The U.S. Department Agriculture (USDA) today announced that a total of $170,000 will be awarded to three regional organizations in California to train and educate new and underserved farmers and ranchers on Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs and services. FSA Administrator Val Dolcini and FSA California State Executive Director Oscar Gonzales, Jr., met with local officials to announce the award.

USDA Awards $170,000 to Educate New and Underserved California Farmers and Ranchers

 Contact:
 Kent Politsch
(202)720-7163

DAVIS, Calif., Sept. 22, 2016 – The U.S. Department Agriculture (USDA) today announced that a total of $170,000 will be awarded to three regional organizations in California to train and educate new and underserved farmers and ranchers on Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs and services. FSA Administrator Val Dolcini and FSA California State Executive Director Oscar Gonzales, Jr., met with local officials to announce the award.

“Many new and underserved farmers are unaware or have not used FSA programs that can help grow and strengthen their operations,” said Dolcini. “California is one of 28 states receiving this funding. As a fifth-generation Californian, I’m proud that my agency is partnering with these local institutions for this purpose.”

The University of California-Davis will receive $75,000 to provide financial literacy training to small-scale, new and specialty crop and livestock producers in the Northern California foothills. State Center Community College District will concentrate its $20,000 in funding toward outreach and education efforts to California’s Central Valley. California FarmLink will receive $75,000 to establish financial management workshops offering participants access to important business tools and resources.

Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of cooperative agreements between USDA FSA and organizations designed to promote agriculture. To date, $2.5 million has been awarded to 60 nonprofit organizations, universities and foundations in 28 states.  FSA administers farm commodity safety net, credit, conservation and emergency assistance programs for farmers and ranchers. To learn more about the cooperative agreements and participating organizations, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/outreach or contact your local FSA county office.  Local FSA offices can be found by visiting http://offices.usda.gov

“Farm and ranch operations can be vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, natural disasters and extreme weather, pest and disease outbreaks, market fluctuations and other unexpected events,” said Gonzales. “We want to make sure local producers know that there are FSA programs that can help protect their operations and provide a cushion during leaner times.”

Supporting farmers is also part of USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) Initiative, which coordinates the Department's work to develop strong local and regional food systems. Under the Obama Administration, USDA has invested close to $1 billion in 40,000 local food-related projects on farms and in communities across the country.  Access the KYF2 Compass to locate USDA investments in your community.

USDA works to strengthen and support American agriculture, an industry that supports one in 11 American jobs, provides American consumers with more than 80 percent of the food we consume, ensures that Americans spend less of their paychecks at the grocery store than most people in other countries, and supports markets for homegrown renewable energy and materials. Since 2009, USDA has provided $5.6 billion in disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; expanded risk management tools with products like Whole Farm Revenue Protection; and helped farm businesses grow with $36 billion in farm credit. The Department has engaged its resources to support a strong next generation of farmers and ranchers by improving access to land and capital; building new markets and market opportunities; and extending new conservation opportunities. USDA has developed new markets for rural-made products, including more than 2,500 biobased products through USDA's BioPreferred program; and invested $64 billion in infrastructure and community facilities to help improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/results.

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