Arkansas Farm Bureau applauds: Gov. Beebe's release of $2 million for an emergency livestock program, saying the state-wide drought has pushed livestock producers into a crisis situation.
"Any support for our livestock producers is meaningful," said Randy Veach, president of Arkansas Farm Bureau. "This is a year on par with no other, with more than 50 percent of our state in exceptional drought conditions. This will provide some immediate relief for those who have been struggling, and they need some help right now.
"For the second consecutive year, forage production in our state has been severely limited because of drought. That has put our livestock producers in a position of having to reduce the size of their herds, or pay extremely high prices for feedstuffs."
Beebe's office announced Wednesday the release of $2 million from the Governor's emergency fund, aimed at livestock producers. The program will be administered by the Arkansas Agriculture Department. Livestock producers have two weeks to sign up for the program, and can pick up the application at their county Farm Bureau office, plus other outlets.
Arkansas Farm Bureau is a non-profit, private farm and rural advocacy organization of more than 210,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.
Original story (11:30 a.m.):
Millions in disaster funds are being made available for Arkansas ranchers hit hard by the continuing drought.
Governor Mike Beebe today announced that he has set aside $2,000,000 from the Governor's Disaster Fund to help them.
The Livestock Assistance Grant Program will help cattle, sheep and goat producers, many of whom are finding it difficult to locate, grow or afford hay and other forage for their animals.
The program will be administered by the Arkansas Agriculture Department, and payments will be made on a per-head basis for qualifying livestock producers who apply in the next two weeks.
Applications must be filed online, hand-delivered or postmarked by Wednesday, August 29. This program is not first-come, first-served.
Applications will be available via these agencies:
Arkansas Agriculture Department or call (501) 683-4851
University of Arkansas's Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service county offices Arkansas Cattleman's Association
Agricultural Council of Arkansas
Farm Service Agency county offices
Natural Resource Conservation Service district offices
Conservation District offices
Arkansas Farm Bureau county offices
Earlier this week, Governor Beebe sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency requesting a temporary waiver of ethanol quotas for renewable fuels. The federal mandates consume U.S. grains, particularly corn, and have made it that much harder for Arkansas ranchers to find and afford feed stock during the drought.