Updates & Reviews

Nov 30, 2013 — by: Family Farm Alliance
Categories: Press Releases

"Western Water Challenges: Drivers and Solutions"

26th Annual Event
Set for February 20-21, 2014
at the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino in Las Vegas

CLICK HERE to download & print the registration form, general session agenda, a list of sponsorship opportunities and other conference details!

The 26th Annual Conference of the Family Farm Alliance will once again take place in the West's most glamorous town - Las Vegas! And along with all the fun and excitement, we'll bring together insightful, outside-the-box presentations and discussions you've come to expect from the West's most effective grassroots irrigated agricultural organization.

The Family Farm Alliance's 26th Annual Conference will give you a chance to learn more about the unique nature of Western agriculture and water. Hear from leading experts on the challenges associated with a strong federal presence, the arid climate, the burgeoning population and energy development. Find out how policy makers are developing unique solutions that help the West best contribute to overall national agricultural production and conservation.  

Join us in Las Vegas and hear from policy makers involved with matters that directly impact Western communities that rely upon irrigated agriculture. Our Annual Meeting and Conference will be held Thursday and Friday, February 20-21, 2014 at the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. 

Last year marked the 150thanniversary of when President Abraham Lincoln and other Washington officials took action in four critical areas that directly contributed to the state of the American West today. First, Congress in May 1862 agreed to establish the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Within days of that action, President Lincoln signed into law the nation's first Homestead Act. One month later, Congress passed the Morrill Act, which provided for grants of federal land to states willing to establish a public university with a focus on agriculture.  And finally, in July of 1862, President Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act, which led to the creation of the first transcontinental railroad, which led to a dramatic increase in settlement by new immigrants and by the westward migration of native-born Americans.

These four visionary governmental initiatives catalyzed the development of Western family farms and ranches, research centers, extension services and a reliable cadre of educated graduates and specialists.   These forward looking political actions transformed America, and hold promise today as a model of international development and hunger alleviation for the 21st century.  A century and a half later, our decision-makers have become very good at quantifying benefits associated with growth, environmental proposals, and energy development.   However, resources decisions often fail to incorporate a similar methodology that leads to quantifying the value of food production.  

With global population now exceeding 7 billion people, the need to provide food to our country and the world has never been more pressing. Our food production capability really is a national asset and worthy of protecting. In the West, water is an essential component of that capability.  

Good policies will drive the programs and activities that lead to great public investments.  These will pay for themselves over and over and demonstrate positive long-term impacts.  

"At the 2014 Family Farm Alliance Annual Meeting and Conference, you will be able to hear directly from Western water leaders who are forging these policies," said Alliance President Patrick O'Toole (WYOMING).

The 26th Annual Conference will feature general session presentations and panel discussions that focus on: immediate water crises facing farmers and ranchers in Texas, California and the Colorado River Basin; an innovative education and outreach program that will bring together Western farmers and ranchers interested in sharing water conservation experience and strategies; and perspectives on water policy from leaders in agriculture, government and the national conservation community. 

It is no secret that farmers and ranchers in irrigated agriculture have never faced more challenges. How we deal with these many issues and questions will determine the future of farming and ranching in the West.  Join us as we seek new, balanced approaches to long-standing and often contentious challenges at the Family Farm Alliance's 26th Annual Meeting and Conference.

The Alliance board of directors will meet all day Wednesday, February 19 and will be joined by the Advisory Committee at noon. The conference general session begins on Thursday morning, February 20th, and ends at noon on Friday, February 21st. The tour bus will leave the Monte Carlo at 1:00 p.m. on Friday and will return to the Monte Carlo no later than 4:00 p.m.

If you need more information, please contact us at 707-998-9487 or ffameeting@aol.com