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Seeking Government Help for Arkansas Farmers, Ranchers after June Floods
A flooded farm in Prairie County. Photo courtesy: Cooperative Extension Service U of A System Division of Agriculture.
WASHINGTON D.C. – Financial help could be on the way soon for Arkansas farmers and ranchers suffering losses in June flash flooding.
Arkansas's congressional delegation is giving its support to Governor Mike Beebe’s request for federal disaster assistance by sending a letter to United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
The flooding devastated thousands of acres of crops and pastures in eastern Arkansas.
Here's the full text of the letter sent to Vilsack by U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman, along with Congressmen Rick Crawford (AR-1), Tim Griffin (AR-2), Steve Womack (AR-3), and Tom Cotton (AR-4):
We write in support of the State of Arkansas's request for federal disaster assistance for farmers and ranchers in Arkansas who are facing significant losses due to severe weather in east Arkansas. The affected areas are within Cross, Lee, Prairie, Woodruff, Independence, Lonoke, St. Francis, Jackson, Monroe and White counties in Arkansas. Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe has requested a Secretarial Disaster Designation after a review of agricultural damages conducted by the State Department of Agriculture and the Farm Service Agency.
Arkansas has suffered agricultural devastation including damage and losses to crops and pastures due to the effects of flooding throughout the entire state that began June 29, 2014. This will require access to additional agriculture disaster programs in both the primary and contiguous counties as necessary.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster declaration will provide farmers the necessary option of applying for emergency loans through the Farm Service Agency. This will allow producers to continue operations despite the devastation from the flash flooding, excessive rain and dangerous wind conditions. For many agriculture producers in Arkansas, this will provide the essential lifeline to meet financial obligations. Emergency loans are vital to farmers and ranchers who may have no other source of revenue over the next year.
We respectfully request your swift consideration and approval of this request. If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.