The Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse finally made a trip to Rapid City, South Dakota, on Tuesday to announce conservation assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for those affected by the Atlas Blizzard that swept through western South Dakota earlier this month during the government shutdown.
"This blizzard impacted lives and livelihoods across the region and USDA is committed to doing all we can to help ranchers during this difficult time," Scuse said in the release. "Due to the lack of a new Farm Bill, our means to help are limited - but we will do all we can. This disaster is a reminder of the unpredictable nature of agriculture, and the need for a strong farm safety net that would be provided by a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill."
The USDA is offering a special signup through the Natural Resources Conservation Service' (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to help South Dakota producers address the impacts of the storm. In addition, Scuse encouraged producers to submit forms to the Farm Service Agency to document their losses with the hope that Congress will quickly pass a Farm Bill to reauthorize the livestock disaster assistance programs that have expired. To read more, click HERE.