Governor Mike Beebe today announced that he has set aside $2,000,000 from the Governor's Disaster Fund to help Arkansas ranchers during the recent persistent drought conditions. The Livestock Assistance Grant Program will help cattle, sheep and goat producers, many of whom are finding it difficult to locate, grow or afford hay and other forage for their animals.
The program will be administered by the Arkansas Agriculture Department, and payments will be made on a per-head basis for qualifying livestock producers who apply in the next two weeks. Applications must be filed online, hand-delivered or postmarked by Wednesday, August 29. This program is not first-come, first-served.
Applications will be available through the Arkansas Agriculture Department (www.aad.ar.gov or 501-683-4851), University of Arkansas's Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service county offices (www.uaex.edu), the Arkansas Cattleman's Association (www.arbeef.org), the Agricultural Council of Arkansas (www.agcouncil.net), Farm Service Agency county offices, Natural Resource Conservation Service district offices, Conservation District offices and Arkansas Farm Bureau county offices (www.arfb.com).
Earlier this week, Governor Beebe sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency requesting a temporary waiver of ethanol quotas for renewable fuels. The federal mandates consume U.S. grains, particularly corn, and have made it that much harder for Arkansas ranchers to find and afford feed stock during the drought.