Board member expresses need to modify USDA Farm Service Agency’s Emergency Conservation Program

By San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY— On April 11, SLO County Farm Bureau hosted a listening session with Congressman Salud Carbajal on the 2023 Farm Bill and storm disaster issues.  

Farm Bureau board member Tom Ikeda spoke about the need to modify the USDA Farm Service Agency’s Emergency Conservation Program. Ikeda’s Arroyo Grande vegetable fields were covered with water after January’s storms, but the cost of running generators and pumps to remove the water was not an eligible expense under the program. Members also shared their frustrations with trying to understand the federal disaster designation process and what USDA funds were available based on different designations.  


Carbajal was reappointed to the House Agriculture Committee this session and said some of his Farm Bill priorities include defending the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), expanding support for specialty crops, and supporting agriculture research. 

The current farm bill is set to expire Sept. 30. While U.S. House and Senate agriculture leaders have said they intend to pass a new farm bill this year on time, recent history suggests that may be difficult. Previous farm bills have been extended temporarily to allow Congress more time to negotiate a new farm bill.  

To review American Farm Bureau’s 2023 policy priorities, go here. For a primer on the farm bill from the Congressional Research Service go here.

Feature Image: (From left) Acting SLO County Farm Service Agency Executive Director Christopher Rosedale, Farm Bureau board members Tom Ikeda and Danilu Ramirez, Farm Bureau Executive Director Brent Burchett, Farm Bureau board member Hilary Graves, Congressman Salud Carbajal, SLO County Natural Resources Conservation Service District Conservationist Drew Loganbill, SLO Food Bank Chief Operating Officer Molly Kern, and Chief Executive Officer Garret Olson.