• Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined President Barack Obama in Fresno, Calif., Friday to announce that the USDA will provide additional assistance to help farmers, ranchers and residents affected by severe drought in California.

    At President Obama’s direction, USDA has made implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill livestock disaster assistance programs a top priority and plans to have the programs available for sign up by April 15, 2014.

    USDA has declared 54 counties in California as primary natural disaster areas due to drought.

  • Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber said he is ready to act without the state Legislature to extend the state's low-carbon fuels standard.

    A bill that would have lifted the expiration of the standard in December 2015 failed to gain traction last year and a similar measure this year is also unlikely to gain enough votes to pass.

    Kitzhaber said, “As the clean fuels program nears its sunset in 2015, we need to decide whether to invest in clean fuels here at home or continue to export fuel dollars out of state, out of the country and out of Oregon.”