Tester to Montana ranchers: Today is first day to sign up for disaster assistance

Senator spreads the word about recently reauthorized livestock disaster initiatives in Farm Bill

(BIG SANDY, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester wants Montana ranchers to know that today is the first day to sign up for support under the recently reauthorized livestock disaster assistance initiatives in the 2014 Farm Bill.

The five-year Farm Bill passed earlier this year with Tester’s support. It reauthorizes three livestock disaster assistance programs, including the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), that expired in 2011. These programs support ranchers who suffered losses in recent years, including 2012’s nationwide drought.

The newly reauthorized programs are retroactive to October 1, 2011. Montanans should contact their local FSA offices for more information about applying.

Tester, a dry-land farmer from Big Sandy, successfully got USDA to quickly implement the initiatives so ranchers in Montana and across the country could get the assistance they need.

“Today is the first day for Montana ranchers affected by recent disasters to apply for needed assistance,” Tester said. “I encourage all ranchers to utilize all available resources so we can keep our state’s number one industry strong.”

Tester pushed the President for quick implementation of these provisions because it took more than a year for LIP and LFP to begin after the last Farm Bill became law in 2008.

The Farm Bill includes numerous other Tester priorities, including extending Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) through 2014, support for beginning farmers and ranchers and savings of $23 billion.

More information about the Livestock Indemnity Program is available HERE, about the Livestock Forage Disaster Program HERE and about the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised First Program HERE.