Local farmers’ markets could get a boost from free technology being offered by a new federal program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering free card readers, transaction processing, and wireless data plans to farmers who want to sell to families on public assistance.
Jolene Cook is with the Great Basin Community Food Co-op in Reno. She says it will help smaller communities like hers that are trying to support struggling farmers.
“It’s a hard trade and its only decreasing and people that can do it and that are doing it, and so anything that helps farmers succeed is something that we are in support of."
~Jolene Cook, Great Basin Food Co-op
Public assistance sales account for about 1 percent of the co-ops annual revenue or about $25,000 dollars.
“I was super excited when I heard about the possibility of farmers being able to accept food stamps for two reasons basically one because it is helping the local farmer with increased sales and increase in the number of people who can buy from them and second it is helping people buy foods that are more nutritious that actually grow in the ground," she says.
After a record dry January in much of California, early February rains helped fill reservoirs but didn't add much to the Sierra Nevada snowpack.
The Nevada state health exchange is calling this year’s open enrollment a success, with nearly twice the number of enrollees in half the amount of time as last year.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor points to California's dwindling snowpack in its latest report.
Due to low snowpack levels in the Lake Tahoe Basin, the U.S. Forest Service is asking snowmobile users to ride in areas that have adequate snow coverage.
The warm, wet storm forecast for Northern California may not add significant snow to the Sierra Nevada snowpack due to above normal temperatures.