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Family Farm Alliance,

A View from Ground Zero: Assessing the Real State of Western Irrigated Agriculture and Recommended Research Topics that Will Help Family Farmers and Ranchers A White Paper Prepared by the Family Farm Alliance, Presented to The National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board Water Subcommittee

by Dan Keppen, Executive Director Family Farm Alliance,

Family Farm Alliance President Patrick O’Toole (WYOMING) on October 25th will speak to the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board (Board) in Washington, D.C. Attached is a white paper that we prepared for this meeting, and which will form the basis for Pat’s presentation.

The Board provides advice to the Secretary of Agriculture and land-grant colleges and universities on top priorities and policies for food and agricultural research,education, extension and economics. The Board's main objective is to contribute to effective federal agricultural research, education and education programs through broad stakeholder feedback and sound science in its ongoing role as advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture. The Advisory Board also, by mandate, consults with appropriate agricultural committees of Congress.

The Advisory Board’s Water Subcommittee is meeting to explore issues related to water quantity, quality and the environment factors related to them, with the goal of developing recommendations that need research, extension, education and economics work. It will explore supply and demand related to water resources, water quality and issues related thereto which are especially relevant for agriculture and rural communities. The goal will be to look at water as a system and identify points where additional research, education or policy incentives may be needed. The Advisory Board will then discuss possible recommendations that will form the basis for its report to the Secretary and Congress on this topic.

The Alliance white paper includes our call for a West-wide assessment of cumulative impacts to irrigated agriculture, promulgating research recommendations associated with a National Academy of Sciences review of federal watershed management (or, lack thereof) actions, and recommends a public survey of attitudes towards irrigated agriculture.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments on this matter.

Dan Keppen
Executive Director
Family Farm Alliance



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