(Posted Thu. Aug 9th, 2012)

During a White House Rural Council meeting this week, President Obama outlined new disaster assistance efforts for those impacted by the drought.  Obama established the Rural Council in June 2011 to coordinate programs across government, to encourage public-private partnerships and to promote further economic prosperity and quality of life in rural communities nationwide.  It is chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.


According to a White House release, USDA will use nearly $16 million in financial and technical assistance to immediately help crop and livestock producers in 19 states cope with the impacts of the drought. In addition, USDA will initiate a transfer of $14 million in unobligated program funds into the Emergency Conservation Program. These funds can be used to assist in moving water to and providing forage for livestock and rehabilitating lands severely impacted by the drought. These combined efforts should provide nearly $30 million to producers affected by drought conditions.


“NCGA greatly appreciates the new steps announced by the President to help alleviate some of the impacts felt by farmers and rural America during this historic drought,” NCGA President Garry Niemeyer said.  “The strong presence of Secretary Vilsack and the White House throughout the past few months has been appreciated and we thank them for their continued efforts.”


President Obama also instructed every federal agency to do all they can to help support drought victims.


To learn more about other efforts, visit NCGA’s drought resources page.