Governor Jan Brewer today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted her request for a Secretarial disaster designation. This designation will allow landowners in Coconino, Gila, Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai and contiguous counties affected by ongoing drought to apply for federal financial assistance.
"Arizona farmers and ranchers have suffered considerable losses as a result of continued statewide drought," said Governor Brewer. "I thank the USDA for its willingness to assist Arizonans with these much-needed loans, and for acknowledging the important role that Arizona's agricultural industry plays in keeping America fed."
With the disaster designation, the USDA found that agricultural production losses in the area were sufficient to warrant federal assistance. Eligible farm operators in the affected areas have eight months in which to apply for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency and Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program.
"The speedy response from Secretary Vilsack demonstrates how important it is to support our farmers," said Don Butler, Arizona Department of Agriculture Director. "As farmers face the continuing challenge of this drought, it's good to know there are resources that allow them to continue putting food onto America's tables.