Governor Jerry Brown visits the World Ag Expo

Two days before President Barack Obama's scheduled tour of drought-stricken areas of the Valley, Gov. Jerry Brown offers his assessment of why it's become so difficult for farmers to get help. Those comments were made during a stop at the World Ag Expo.
February 12, 2014 8:41:12 AM PST
Gov. Jerry Brown made a trip to the Central Valley on Wednesday and received a firsthand look at the drought crisis while touring the World Ag Expo.

Brown was also in Tulare for a meeting on the High-Speed Rail. But it was the concern over the state's extremely dry conditions that seemed to get the most attention.

The governor insisted he cares deeply about helping farmers get more water. But his visit didn't live up to some people's expectations. He was supposed to stop at a booth but ended up having to cut his visit short.

Within a minute of Brown stepping onto the World Ag Expo grounds, he was met with a barrage of reporters and photographers who were asking questions about the current drought and what he was planning to do to help farmers get the water they need to survive.

"What do you have to say to farmers who just think that Republicans and Democrats really aren't going to work together," I asked.

"Well they're working together in California; both parties are working much closer at the State Capitol, and so my issue is can I get the federal people to be as cooperative as California?" Brown replied.

Gov. Brown's plan was to stop by a Rain for Rent exhibit on the World Ag Expo grounds and talk to growers, but he ended up being rushed away. He came to the grounds after a private meeting with the ag council on High-Speed Rail.

Volunteer Carla Khal did manage to give the governor a commemorative World Ag Expo hat before he met with the media.

"I'm sure that people would have liked him to spend more time here. It seemed that because of his scheduling delays, he had to leave very quickly," said Khal.

When asked about drought and water concerns by people here, Brown explained that the issue runs statewide.

"We do come to terms with the fact that we're not just Central California, we're Northern California and Southern California, and people think very differently and have lots of different conflicting ideas," Brown said.

Employees at Rain for Rent were excited to see the governor on the ag show grounds, and hopes his visit, and President Barack Obama's visit on Friday, mean more water for the Central Valley.

"I hope it's more than just talk so it's great that they want to show up and be visible and say I care about the drought and I care about water, but unless something actually happens, it's just lip service," said Ismael Diaz with Rain for Rent.

Several of Brown's opponents for the gubernatorial race were also at the World Ag Expo on Wednesday.

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