For Immediate Release - September 18, 2000
(Helena)- U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman today approved a statewide disaster declaration for Montana because of drought. Secretary Glickman's approval will trigger financial assistance under the Farm Service Agency Emergency Loan Program.
Lt. Governor Judy Martz, chairman of the Governorís Drought Advisory Committee, said, "We are grateful to Secretary Glickman for reviewing and approving our application so quickly. Hundreds of Montana ranchers, farmers and small businesses who have lost so much in the past year can be assured help is on the way."
Lt. Governor Martz encouraged all agriculture producers and business owners who have experienced losses due to drought to contact their local Farm Service Agency office to apply. "Help is available," Lt. Governor Martz said, "but losses need to be reported as soon as possible."
People in all counties of the state will have the opportunity to apply for disaster assistance programs. This measure will also help USDA expedite the process for assessing the impacts of drought in all Montana counties.
Qualified agricultural producers will be eligible for important tax deferments on capital gains for up to two years, and may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans. Payments on existing loans with the Farm Service Agency may be deferred in cases of hardship due to drought.