BOXER SECURES FUNDING FOR KEY INVESTMENTS IN CA

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Agriculture Spending Bill Includes $6 Million for California Sought by Boxer'

Projects Range From Food Safety to Water Efficiency

October 8, 2009 (Washington D.C.) -- The U.S. Senate today passed the Agriculture Appropriations conference report, which includes more than $6 million requested by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for key investments throughout California.

 

Senator Boxer said, “This crucial funding will not only help our state’s farmers and ranchers, but it will also help protect our state’s $32 billion agriculture economy. I am so pleased that this bill makes critical investments to protect consumers by safeguarding public health and growers from economic losses due to pests and food-borne illness outbreaks. I look forward to watching President Obama sign this bill into law.”

 

The bill also includes $350 million in emergency funding to help struggling dairy producers.

Senator Boxer fought to make sure that this funding will be equitably distributed among dairy producers nationwide. She met with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack because she was concerned that the funding would be used in ways that would discriminate against dairies in Western states.

 

The conference report now goes to President Obama for his signature.

 

The following are investments secured by Senator Boxer for California:
 

Fresh Produce Safety Research Initiative

 

Location: University of California Campuses throughout California
Amount Received: $750,000

 

Funding will be used to continue a competitive grants program to advance scientific knowledge of food-borne illnesses. Recent incidents of E. coli and other microbial contaminants in spinach and leafy greens resulted in several tragic deaths and shook consumer confidence in our nation’s food safety, resulting in millions of dollars in losses for our agriculture economy.

 

Senator Boxer said, “We must do everything we can to ensure the safety of our nation’s food supply. This funding will not only help safeguard public health, but it will also protect our economy from future recalls and losses.”

APHIS Import Inspection Program
 

Location: Santa Paula, California
Amount Received: $738,000

 

The California County Pest Detection Augmentation Program’s Import Inspection program is a statewide effort operated by county agriculture commissioners to inspect imported plants at points of entry to prevent the spread of serious agricultural and environmental invasive pests and diseases, which could harm crops and cost California millions of dollars. This project will train and establish more regional dog teams to assist in inspections. Currently, dog teams are operating regionally from five counties in California and have a proven record of success.

 

Senator Boxer said, “These funds are crucial to help protect our growers from crop-damaging pests.”

Agricultural Research Service Water Management Research Laboratory
 

Location: Brawley, California
Amount Received: $340,000

 

Funds will be used for critical research at the Brawley Agricultural Research Service facility on water supply, soil salinity, crop production and salt tolerance in a region where farming and ranching are important industries in the local economy. Results from these vital ongoing experiments would be lost without funding.


Applied Agriculture and Environmental Research

 

Location: California State University Campuses throughout California
Amount Received: $693,000

 

The California State University Agricultural Research Initiative supports the ongoing need for quality applied agricultural and environmental research activities for the benefit of the nation’s farmers, ranchers, and consumers. Funds will be used for competitive science and best management research related to climate change, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon sequestering; food safety and security; water quality, infrastructure, and conveyance; and public health and welfare.


Orange County Efficient Irrigation Program

Location: Fountain Valley, California
Amount Received: $150,000

 

Funds will be used to improve the efficiency of irrigation water use by regulating the amount of water that is delivered based on soil, slope, and type of landscape. The program will receive contributions from Orange County cities and water agencies as well as incentives from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Three million residents will benefit from this critically needed project.


Pierce’s Disease and Invasive Species Research Program

 

Location: University of California Campuses throughout California
Amount Received: $2,000,000

 

These competitively awarded grant funds will be used to address Pierce’s Disease and other high priority invasive species that are causing significant crop damage, endangering natural and urban ecosystems, and threatening public health in California. This funding will continue the Pierce’s Disease research program, which seeks solutions to this devastating bacterial disease that threatens California’s wine grape industry, as well as support research on other invasive species like Citrus Greening, West Nile virus, Sudden Oak Death, vine mealy bug, quagga mussel, and yellow star thistle.


Viticulture Consortium

 

Location: University of California Campuses throughout California
Amount: $1,454,000

 

Started in 1996 and administered by the University of California, Cornell University, and Penn State University, the Viticulture Consortium funds USDA competitive grape-related research dedicated to accelerating innovation and adopting best practices to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. grapes and grape products industries. Grapes are the highest value fruit crop in the nation – contributing about $162 billion to the U.S. economy annually – and this shared research resource greatly benefits California, which is responsible for 90 percent of all domestic wine production and 95 percent of U.S. wine exports.