March 17, 2004

Smith, Wyden Announce Emergency Agriculture Aid

Oregon Farmers, Ranchers to Receive Funds for Drought, Flooding

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing $620,500 through the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) to Oregon farmers and ranchers facing the consequences of natural disaster.This aid is another clear example of the Bush Administrations steadfast support of American family farmers, Smith said. Oregons farmers and ranchers deserve that, especially when facing unforeseeable disaster.The damages and losses caused by flood and drought can threaten the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers, said Wyden. This federal assistance will help provide relief and a chance at a future for Oregon farmers and ranchers who have faced a devastating blow.The funds include $604,000 in drought relief and $16,500 for flood victims. The program provides for technical assistance to help producers remove debris from farmland, restore fences and conservation structures, provide water for livestock in drought and grade and shape farmland damaged by natural disaster. Producers should contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee regarding sign-up periods. The FSA committees determine producer eligibility based on on-site inspections of damage.