During a special session on Dec. 13, Oregon lawmakers struck a deal to provide some relief to farmers and ranchers recover from extreme heat and drought in 2021. The package includes:

  • $40 million for an agricultural forgivable disaster loan program to fill gaps in federal disaster relief for agricultural producers, and to provide bridge assistance while Oregonians wait for federal funds. It will be delivered through local lenders;
  • $12 million for the Klamath Basin for domestic well assistance, livestock wells, drought resiliency, and for irrigation district assistance;
  • $9.7 million to address drought relief on Klamath Tribal lands;
  • $10 million for agricultural workers who miss work due to unsafe working conditions resulting from extreme heat or smoke;
  • $9.75 million for irrigation district assistance to offset water user costs;
  • $5 million for cricket and grasshopper eradication;
  • $5.75 million for domestic and community well assistance;
  • $3 million for emergency soil conservation fund in Jefferson County;
  • $1.5 million for the Oregon Community Food Systems Network to develop a Disaster Relief Fund for farmers unable to access federal disaster relief funds or the state’s proposed forgivable disaster loan program;
  • $1 million for technical assistance for BIPOC farmers and drought resistance crop outreach;
  • $1 million for drought resiliency work in Jefferson County;
  • $750,000 for drought resistance research and implementation; and
  • $300,000 for a statewide drought vulnerability assessment.

“The Oregon Farm Bureau and our partners have been working toward this package since early this summer, and we are grateful that the Legislature was able to secure its passage,” said Mary Anne Cooper, VP of Government Affairs at the Oregon Farm Bureau. “Relief to producers impacted by this year’s natural disasters cannot come soon enough, and we look forward to working with the Oregon Department of Agriculture to get the direct assistance program up and running. We particularly want to thank the Governor for her diligent pursuit of this natural disaster package, and our advocates in the Legislature for being such strong advocates for its passage.”

For more news, go to: www.Agri-Pulse.com