President Obama lands in Fresno, announces drought aid package

Feb 17, 2014 No Comments by

FRESNO — President Obama flew into the San Joaquin Valley on Friday to discuss California’s historic drought, open the federal government’s checkbook and make tens of millions of dollars in aid available to struggling farmers and communities.

Obama, whose plane touched down at Fresno Yosemite International Airport at 2:40 p.m., came bearing a $183 million aid package that includes money for ranchers in California who have lost livestock, communities that are running out of water and farmers that need help conserving scarce water resources.

President Barack Obama

After a quick stop at the airport, the president boarded the helicopter Marine One and flew to Firebaugh, a drought-stricken town 40 miles west of Fresno.

The president toured a field on Fresno County’s west side that farmer Joe Del Bosque of Empresas Del Bosque, Inc. plans to leave fallow because he lacks enough water to plant a crop.

The president also held a closed-door roundtable with a variety of farmers, water officials, politicians and others to talk about the drought and what the federal government is doing to try to help.

By dusk, Obama flew back to Fresno by helicopter, then flew on Air Force One to Palm Springs, where he had meetings planned with King Abdullah II of Jordan.

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