**The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture sent a letter to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to support the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box program and recommend adjustments to improve its effectiveness.

NASDA CEO Dr. Barb Glenn says “With some enhancements, we can extraordinarily expand the benefits of the program by allowing more producers to contribute and increasing the amount of food we can share with families in need.”

The letter outlines recommendations to promote equity in farmers’ access to the program and remove unnecessary barriers.

**Crop commodity prices improved the past six months, but it’s not rosy everywhere.

According to www.agweb.com, the western half of the country continues to see little moisture, and it’s exacerbating the extreme drought conditions.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows more than 60% of the country is seeing some level of drought, the worst is in the West where nearly 90% is impacted at some level.

Exceptional drought blankets 20% of the West.

www.agweb.com/news/policy/politics/drought-intensifies-farm-groups-fear-disaster-assistance-will-be-tough-sell?mkt

**The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced the nationwide extension of several waivers that allow all children to continue to receive nutritious meals this summer when schools are out of session.

These flexibilities are available through September.

USDA is extending the waivers to provide local programs with clarity and certainty for the summer months ahead, when many children have no access to school meals.