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County farmers, ranchers eligible for federal relief


A recent disaster designation due to drought in neighboring Wasco County has prompted federal disaster relief for farmers and ranchers in Klickitat County, owing to its proximity to the primary designated county.

Virginia Amidon, Farm Service Agency County Executive Director for Klickitat County, explained that while designations are by county, drought conditions can affect farmers and ranchers in areas bordering the designated counties.

“As you experience damage or crop losses, contact our Farm Service Agency office,” Amidon said.

A Secretarial (Secretary of Agriculture) Disaster Designation was automatically activated on June 10, 2015 when Wasco County reached a D2 drought condition based on the U.S. Drought Monitor for eight consecutive weeks. The designation makes available FSA emergency loans. The loans are low interest, currently 3.375% percent, with payment terms of up to 40 years.

Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the designation to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the Emergency Loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

Additional programs that may help with drought include the Emergency Conservation Program, the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program, and the Tree Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at


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