Date: Feb 20, 2009

Irvine, CA (February 20, 2008) - Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif issued the following statement today following the resolution of the state budget crisis:

“We appreciate the dedication and focus shown by Governor Schwarzenegger and the Legislature’s leaders in confronting California’s unprecedented fiscal crisis and taking difficult steps to resolve it. Now it is time to tackle another crisis.

“California’s farmers and the people whose jobs depend on them are confronting the loss of 40,000 jobs, or more, due to the worsening water supply crisis. We urge the Governor and the Legislature’s leaders to immediately turn their attention to the water supply crisis and to bring the same dedication and focus, with the same sense of urgency, in order to restore balance and certainty in our state’s water supply and delivery systems.

“California farms provide jobs for those with few other options, healthy fresh food in our own backyard and valuable open space in the nation’s most populous state. We stand ready to work with the Governor and Legislature on a comprehensive water infrastructure bond that provides certainty of improved conveyance, increased surface and underground water storage, protection of water rights, conservation and efficiency investments and Delta restoration.”

Western Growers is an agriculture trade association whose nearly 3,000 members grow, pack and ship ninety percent of the fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in California and seventy five percent of those commodities in Arizona. This totals about half of the nation’s fresh produce.

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