$2.5M in aid made available to farmers, ranchers, Tester says

by Great Falls Tribune

HELENA — Nearly 30 Montana farmers and ranchers will get $2.5 million to help rebuild after wildfires ravaged eastern Montana, Sen. Jon Tester said Friday.

This funding comes from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Environmental Quality Incentive Program, which can help with livestock grazing deferment, damaged fence and post removal, livestock fencing, water facility development, critical area plantings, and cover crops, Tester, D-Mont., said.

Montana farmers and ranchers interested in future EQIP sign-ups should contact their local Natural Resources Conservation Service office for information.

Tester has launched an online portal at http://bit.ly/2u4eLKg where Montanans who are affected by fire and drought can contact his office and receive help.

In July, Tester wrote to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue asking his agency to tap into disaster assistance initiatives

“After our relentless persistence, Montana farmers will begin to see some relief from what has been a historically difficult summer,” Tester said in a news release. “This is the first wave of meaningful resources that will help producers rebuild after horrific devastation.”

He said he would continue to seek more funds.