In the wake of a series of regional drought conferences with farmers, ranchers, business owners and other stakeholders, USDA is entering into a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Commerce including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to improve sharing of data and expertise, monitoring networks, and drought forecasting efforts. The MOU is a direct outcome of the regional conferences.
In recent months, USDA has partnered with local governments, colleges, state and federal partners to conduct a series of regional drought workshops. Hundreds of producers met with government officials to discuss needs, and programs available to them. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack kicked off the first meeting in Nebraska and additional meetings were held in Colorado, Arkansas and Ohio.