Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Plan to Attend Texas Drought Summit

Texans Urged to Attend Drought Summit Coming January 29 in San Antonio

Is the Texas drought over? Not for thousands of small farm and ranch families that have absorbed devastating losses and are struggling to stay in business.

All Texans who care about the survival of the state’s small farms and ranches are urged to attend the January 29 Texas Drought Summit at the Hilton San Antonio Airport Hotel in San Antonio.
Organizations that have already pledged to participate include the Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Prairie View A&M University, USDA Farm Service Agency, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and USDA Risk Management Agency.
Numerous agricultural trade associations, lenders, and equipment dealers from around the state are expected to attend on behalf of their members. Newly elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller will speak.

The summit will take stock of damage done to date by the Texas drought, provide a forum for sharing lessons learned, and connect farmers and ranchers with grants, low-interest loans, and other disaster-related services and assistance. Lunch will be provided. A $25 registration fee is requested, but will be waived for those in need.

The day-long summit is being sponsored by Farm Aid, in partnership with the National Center for Appropriate Technology, Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, and Sustainable Food Center. National experts from Rural Advancement Foundation International and Farmers’ Legal Action Group will facilitate the discussion.

Immediately following the summit (January 30-31, in the same hotel), the annual Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association (TOFGA) conference will offer a full slate of workshops on building farm and ranch resilience and preparing for increasing weather extremes.

Farm Aid is providing scholarships to 30 farm and ranch families that have suffered losses due to the drought, supporting their travel and registration for both the Drought Summit and TOFGA conference.

Space is limited. To get more information, register for either event, or apply for a scholarship, go to www.tofga.org.

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Since 1976, the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has been helping people by championing small-scale, local, and sustainable solutions that reduce poverty, promote healthy communities, and protect natural resources. More information is available at www.ncat.org or by calling 1-800-ASK-NCAT.


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