Washington, DC – On Monday, December 13, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie will join U.S. Congressman Kurt Schrader and Oregon Governor Kate Brown in a series of in-person and hybrid events in Oregon highlighting the devastating impact historic drought, heat and wildfires have had in the state and Pacific Northwest, federal resources available to help impacted areas recover and how provisions included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal that was recently signed into law will allow communities to build resiliency to wildfires and mitigate drought.  

Secretary Vilsack, Under Secretary Bonnie, Congressman Schrader and Governor Brown will participate in a roundtable discussion underscoring resources in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that will bolster wildfire resiliency in Oregon and across the country. The legislation includes $3.3 billion dollars for the Wildfire Risk Reduction program to fund wildfire defense, thinning, research and other mitigation efforts. It also includes provisions that will enhance the Forest Service’s ability to hire and retain firefighters. Secretary Vilsack will be participating virtually in the event.  

Earlier in the morning, Under Secretary Bonnie will tour Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas with Congressman Schrader and see firsthand the impact heat and wildfires have had in Oregon.  

Following the tour, Under Secretary Bonnie and Congressman Schrader will participate in a drought mitigation and disaster relief roundtable highlighting the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. They will also point to $10 billion in disaster relief money that was passed as part of the September 2021 Continuing Resolution for producers who experienced severe natural disasters, including drought. These events will be in-person.  

As more frequent and severe climate impacts are upending Americans’ lives and economic livelihoods, USDA is coordinating with federal agencies, state governments, Tribes, and others to improve the resilience of our nation’s forests, grasslands, and agriculture communities. Secretary Vilsack is co-chair of the Biden Administration’s Wildfire Resilience Interagency Working Group and Interagency Drought Relief Working Group. 

By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.