Application for disaster relief aid opens to Utah’s farmers, ranchers affected by drought

File photo by BigDuckSix/iStock / Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has received funds for an Emergency Disaster Relief loan program to aid Utah’s farmers and ranchers who have been negatively affected by the extreme drought conditions.

L-R: Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, Gov. Spencer Cox and Layton farmer Tyson Roberts take a tour as part of a press conference, Layton, Utah, July 16, 2021 | Photo courtesy of the state of Utah, St. George News

“Utah’s current extreme and prolonged drought conditions have been devastating for our agricultural producers,” Gov. Spencer Cox said in a press release issued about the received funds. “These farmers and ranchers need real solutions and we are committed to helping in every way we can. Authorizing money from Go Utah will provide necessary aid to those who truly need it.”

In an effort to help producers stay in business, the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (Go Utah) is providing $5,000,000 from the Industrial Assistance Account to fund an Emergency Disaster Relief loan program that will be administered by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food under their Agriculture Resource Development Loan Program, the release states.

Eligible agricultural producers can apply for disaster relief loans of up to $100,000 to help reimburse financial and other losses they have experienced due to the drought, such feed costs or loss of livestock. The seven-year loans will be interest-free for the first two years and will not require collateral from the agricultural producer.

This year hit Utah’s farmers and ranchers hard, Craig Buttars, commissioner for the department, said in the news release.

“We are hopeful that these loans will be a financial bridge that will allow producers to keep their operations going so that they will continue to benefit not only Utah’s rural economies but all Utahns who enjoy local agricultural products,” Buttars said. “I would like to thank Governor Cox and his team for their support in making this relief possible.”

Applications will be accepted now until April 1, 2022 or until funds are depleted. To learn more about the disaster relief loans and to apply, visit the website.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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