Vilsack briefs on drought and calls for farm bill passage
July 18, 2012 | 03:22 PM
at today's White House press briefing.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack briefed President Barack Obama on the drought today and then dominated a press briefing with White House press secretary Jay Carney during which he called for passage of a new farm bill that includes disaster assistance.
Vilsack told reporters that he had found Obama “very well-informed on the circumstances surrounding a very serious drought – the most serious situation we’ve had probably in 25 years – across the country. Sixty-one percent of the land mass of the United States is currently being characterized as being impacted by this drought.”
He also noted that USDA will use all its administrative powers to help farmers and ranchers, but that it is limited because disaster programs in the 2008 farm bill have expired.
“But it's the livestock producers that are in the biggest and most troubled situation because they simply don't have any disaster program and there's no such thing as a crop insurance program for livestock producers,” Vilsack said.
on efforts to respond to drought conditions across the country,
during a meeting in the Oval Office today. (White House/Pete Souza)
- July 18, 2012 – Video (22 min.): Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack White House Press Briefing on Drought
- July 18, 2012 – Transcript of Vilsack White House Press Briefing
- USDA Disaster and Drought Assistance
- National Drought Mitigation Center – University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- U.S. Drought Monitor map