CO Governor Polis Statement on USDA Disaster Designation
DENVER – Governor Jared Polis released a statement following this month’s designation of 63 Colorado counties as primary agricultural disaster areas by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The disaster declaration is due to recent drought in the area. Colorado’s recent record snowfall along the Front Range and Eastern Plains did not deliver enough precipitation to erase the months-long drought the state is experiencing. The Western Slope, in particular, continues to face extreme drought conditions.
“Our agricultural community is so important to Colorado and the recent drought has impacted all its members including farmers, ranchers, and other stewards of the land. I’m grateful to Secretary Vilsack for making this designation which will allow eligible farm operations to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA),” said Governor Jared Polis. “Our agricultural community deserves our support, and I urge us all to recognize their contributions, from the livestock industry to vegetable production.”
“Drought continues to put incredible strain on Colorado’s agricultural producers across the state,” said Kate Greenberg, Commissioner of Agriculture. “We are appreciative to Secretary Vilsack for this designation. As a state, we will continue supporting and assisting all in agriculture as they face the financial, emotional and environmental hardships of drought.”
Under this disaster designation, producers in contiguous counties in Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming also qualify for benefits.
The designated counties are listed in the letter to the Governor of Colorado. Additional information on USDA’s disaster assistance program, including county lists and maps, can be found at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.