USDA News Release


Release No.0272.99


Dann Stuart (202) 690-0474


WASHINGTON, July 1, 1999 -- Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman today announced six appointments to the National Drought Policy Commission.

The Commission was established to provide advice and recommendations on the creation of an integrated, coordinated Federal policy on preparing for and responding to serious drought emergencies. It will conduct a thorough study and review existing Federal, State, local and tribal laws and programs relating to drought before submitting a report to the President and Congress.

Named as at-large members were: Brian Schweitzer, Montana; Robert C. "Bob" Brown, Texas; A. Leon Smothers, Kentucky; Ane Deister, California; Robert L. Miller, Oklahoma; and Ernesto Rodriguez, New Mexico. These at-large members represent groups acutely affected by drought emergencies, such as the agricultural production community, the credit community, rural and urban water associations, Native Americans, and fishing and environmental interests.

"This Commission illustrates a bi-partisan commitment to improving the emergency relief measures that proved lacking during the drought disasters of the past several growing seasons," said Glickman. "While we are committed to improving the safety net for farmers, we want to make sure we are delivering the services that are available as efficiently as possible."

The National Drought Policy Commission was established by Public Law 105-199, signed by the President on July 16, 1998. The 16-member Commission will include the Secretaries of Agriculture, Interior, Army, and Commerce; the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration. Besides the Federal members and the six at-large members announced today, the Commission also includes Presidential appointments from the National Governors’ Association, National Association of Counties, and the United States Conference of Mayors. Secretary Glickman will chair the Commission.


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