SANTA YNEZ, Calif. - President Obama has announced 160 million dollars in federal aid to help California and its farmers deal with the drought crisis.
The program includes 100 million dollars in livestock disaster assistance for farmers struggling to feed their cattle. Some local farmers say while the assistance is welcomed, it might not be enough. ""I don't think its enough for a one time deal, said Nathan Glazebrook of Organic Pastures Dairy Company. He says, "Its only going to make a dent for some people."
The president made the announcement during his visit to the San Joaquin Valley on Friday. He said, "As anybody in this state can tell you, California's living through some of its driest years in a century. Right now, almost 99 percent of California's drier than normal".
California's drought is getting the attention of the White House because of its vast agricultural impact on the rest of the country. The president said, "California is our biggest agricultural producer. So what happens here matters to every working American right down to the cost of food that you put on your table.
Some local farmers fear the rising costs to run their businesses could eventually trickle down to the consumer. Glazebrook said, "The price of alfalfa is skyrocketing every year. So as feed costs go up, you're going to see milk prices go up too."
Ranchers will be able to apply for the 100 million dollars in livestock disaster assistance in April. Another 60 million dollars from the funds will be made available to food banks in California.