The emergency cost-share program established by Gov. Jay Nixon to provide water for Missouri farmers and livestock producers has approved 3,712 applications across the state.
"Agriculture is the backbone of Missouri's economy, and we are working quickly to provide emergency relief for farmers and producers who are facing critical water shortages as a result of this historic drought," Gov. Nixon said. "This emergency program is helping our livestock producers and farmers protect their livelihood and uphold a vital pillar of our economy."
Gov. Nixon issued an executive order on July 23, authorizing the State Soil & Water Districts Commission to establish the program to provide urgent relief for farmers and producers facing critical shortages of water. To be eligible for the program, projects had to provide immediate and material relief for the farmer or producer. The same day, Gov. Nixon signed a separate executive order declaring a State of Emergency in Missouri because of the drought.
Because of the emergency nature of the program, project applications were due by 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6. Officials from the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources are supporting local soil and water districts in reviewing the applications to determine eligibility for funding.
Today, Gov. Nixon reported that the emergency cost-share program has approved 3,712 applications for assistance, totaling $18.7 million. The program covers 90 percent of the cost of the emergency water project, such as digging or deepening a well or connecting a farm to rural water. The producer or farmer pays the remaining 10 percent. The maximum state match for any project is $20,000.
"I appreciate the dedicated employees of the local soil and water districts, the Missouri Department of Agriculture, and the Missouri Soil and Water Program for putting in long hours over the past two weeks, including both weekends, to carefully review and screen these applications," Gov. Nixon said. "These professionals, with support from members of our state technical assistance review team, have ensured that the projects approved meet the strict and specific criteria outlined by my executive order for providing immediate and material relief to farmers and producers in need. These folks have ensured that this program moved forward quickly, efficiently and with accountability to Missouri taxpayers."
Funding for this emergency program comes from unallocated reserve funds provided by the State Soil & Water Districts Commission and state resources made available by Gov. Nixon through House Bill 8, which provides the Governor the authority to direct funds for "responding during a declared emergency at the direction of the Governor, provided the services furnish immediate aid and relief."