Good News For People Raising Goats In California (article)


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Posted by GoatWorld on December 04, 2002 at 05:49:31:

Ranchers might be eligible for drought relief

Published: December 2, 2002

By GENEVIEVE

BOOKWALTER


A lack of water took its toll on crops, but ranchers and farmers across the United States can look forward to financial relief.

Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman named 27 counties in California where ranchers and growers qualify for part of an approximately $752 million pot federal money set aside to help counties with drought disaster designations.

Tuolumne County made that list, but Calaveras, while eligible for other emergency funds, did not.

"If you have livestock, whether it be one or 1,000 head in these named counties, you are eligible," said Ben Higgins, spokesman for the California Cattlemen's Association in Sacramento.

In Sonora, 2001-02 rainfall, 29.27 inches, was marginally below the annual average of 33.13. But virtually no rain was recorded between May 22 and early November.

Livestock Compensation Program money is easy to get, Higgins said. He encouraged ranchers to make appointments at Farm Service Agency or Farm Advisors' offices and bring proof of how many animals they own.

"Fill out a few simple forms, and in a few weeks you'll receive a check in the mail," Higgins said.

Livestock producers will be compensated $18 per head for beef cows, $13.50 per head for pastured steers or heifers and $4.50 per head for goats and sheep. The deadline to apply is Dec. 13.

The program dollars are coming from Section 32, a permanent appropriation that since 1935 has earmarked 30 percent of the annual U.S. customs receipts to support agriculture, Higgins said.

For more information on the program, call Gary Caseri, Tuolumne County Agricultural Commissioner, at 533-5691.

Applications for the program will be accepted at the Sonora Farm Advisor's Office, 52 N. Washington St. The phone number is 533-5695.

They will also be accepted at all Farm Service Agency locations. In Modesto, that office is at 3800 Cornucopia Way.

The phone number is 491-9320.


Contact Genevieve Bookwalter at gbookwalter@ uniondemocrat.com.



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