Oklahoma farmers, ranchers eligible for assistance

MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: September 3, 2009 at 5:28 am •  Published: September 3, 2009
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A federal disaster designation has been approved for all counties in the state, the governor’s office said Wednesday.

Under the designation, farmers and ranchers are eligible for low-interest Farm Service Agency loans to address losses caused by extreme weather conditions between Sept. 1, 2008, and June 30, according to the governor’s press office.

The U.S. Agriculture Department approved 74 of the state’s 77 counties for primary natural disaster designation. Ranchers and farmers in Adair, Cherokee and Pushmataha counties also are eligible for FSA loans because those counties are contiguous to the primary disaster area.

Gov. Brad Henry said the agriculture and ranching industries have been sorely tested by extreme weather conditions over the past year. Conditions include drought, floods, hail, fire, high winds and freezing temperatures.

"Our farmers and ranchers have endured just about every kind of severe weather there is,” the governor said.