In the wake of a series of regional drought conferences with farmers, ranchers, business owners and other stakeholders, USDA is entering into a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Commerce, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, to improve sharing of data and expertise, monitoring networks and drought forecasting efforts.
In recent months, USDA has worked with local governments, colleges, state and federal partners to conduct a series of regional drought workshops.
Hundreds of producers met with government officials to discuss needs and programs available to them. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack kicked off the first meeting in Nebraska, and additional meetings were held in Colorado, Arkansas and Ohio.
Vilsack said the Obama administration continues to do all it can to help farmers, ranchers and small business owners along with local and county governments meet drought-related challenges.