U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman, along with Congressmen Rick Crawford (AR-1), Tim Griffin (AR-2), Steve Womack (AR-3), and Mike Ross (AR-4) today applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture's swift decision to designate 69 Arkansas counties as disaster areas, making farmers and ranchers eligible for financial assistance to help them recover from losses caused by severe drought in the spring and summer of 2012.
"Farmers throughout the state have been hit especially hard by this year's drought," Pryor said. "I appreciate USDA's immediate response, which will help keep farmers in business during a difficult time."
"I am pleased by the quick response from USDA. The struggles our local farmers and ranchers are facing as a result of this drought are putting their ability to earn a living at risk. In addition, less food on the market means higher prices, so this disaster affects us all," Boozman said.
"Farm families across Arkansas are being hurt by extreme drought. I applaud the USDA for taking quick action to ensure our producers will be able to stay in business during this hard time," Crawford said.
"Arkansas's agricultural community is a critical part of the state's economy. Thanks to the USDA's swift response to our request, farmers will get the emergency assistance they need to cope with this year's crippling drought," said Griffin.
"It's no secret that severe drought across the state this year has hurt a number of Arkansas farmers and their families," said Womack. "This quick action by the USDA will not only provide critical financial assistance to these families, but it helps sustain an important part of our state's economy during a difficult period for the farming community."
"Arkansas farmers and ranchers have faced numerous challenges this year because of severe drought conditions, making an already tough economic situation even worse. This designation will help compensate Arkansas's farmers and ranchers for production losses," Ross said.
Under this designation, farmers are eligible to apply for assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA). This assistance includes FSA Emergency Loans (EM), which provide funding to replace or restore property, pay production costs and essential living expenses, reorganize farming operations, or refinance certain debts. Farmers should contact their local Farm Service Agency Offices for more information.