USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in a blog post Friday said that over the next three weeks, USDA and other federal agencies will partner with local stakeholders to conduct workshops in drought-impacted regions. "The purpose of these workshops will be for us to listen to producers and communities regarding the intermediate and long-term challenges created by the current drought," Vilsack says. Vilsack continues that while there is no "silver bullet" to fix the drought, these workshops will "provide a chance for everyone to learn which tools may be available to help."
These workshops will start in Omaha, Nebraska on Oct. 9. Over the month of October, additional meetings will take place in Pueblo, Colorado; Pine Bluff, Arkansas; and Archbold, Ohio.
Vilsack also used this post to remind the nation that the 2008 Farm Bill expired at the beginning of October, thereby limiting USDA's tools. He says, "Other aspects of the law will continue to expire in the coming months. This brings tremendous uncertainty for rural families – particularly livestock producers who have lost access to disaster programs, and dairy producers who no longer have access to dairy support programs."
Click here to learn more about the upcoming workshops.