The Colorado Department of Agriculture is now accepting grant applications for drought assistance in 24 eastern Colorado counties. The application period continues through November 17, 2006.
“The USDA has provided about $1.3 million for this grant program, but it’s limited to cattle and sheep producers in the 24 counties who have suffered economic losses due to drought,” said Don Ament, commissioner of agriculture. “We have drought impacts all over the state, but USDA is limiting this program to counties that have been designated the most highly drought-impacted in the nation.”
Cattle and sheep producers in the following counties may be eligible: Baca, Bent, Cheyenne, Crowley, Custer, Elbert, El Paso, Fremont, Huerfano, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Larimer, Las Animas, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Otero, Phillips, Prowers, Pueblo, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld, and Yuma. No additional counties will be granted eligibility.
To qualify, owners of foundation breeding herds of cattle and sheep must be able to demonstrate drought-incurred expenses, such as costs of hauling water, acquiring additional pasture, purchase of hay or other forage, etc. No more than $10,000 may be awarded to any eligible herd owner(s). Foundation herds consist of breeding and replacement cows and bulls, ewes and rams. Foundation breeding herds do not include cattle under the age of two years and sheep under the age of one year.
To apply, livestock owners should visit CDA’s website at http://www.ag.state.co.us and go to the Livestock Assistance Grants page to download the application forms.
Producers may also drop by their local USDA Farm Services Agency office or their local Colorado State University Cooperative Extension office and pick up the forms. However, neither FSA nor extension offices can accept the completed application. Completed forms must be mailed to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Livestock Assistance Grant Program, 700 Kipling St., Ste. 4000, Lakewood, Colo., 80215. Applications can be delivered in person to the same address by November 17, 2006. Applications must be postmarked on or before November 17, 2006. Other information is available by calling (303) 239-4187.
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