Livestock Assistance Now Available, Senator Irvin Announces

The Livestock Assistance Program has $2 million from the Governor’s Disaster Fund available to help Arkansas ranchers make it through the drought, Senator Missy Irvin of Mountain View announced.

 The program is for ranchers having trouble locating or paying for hay and forage for cattle, sheep and goats.

 Irvin is working with the state Agriculture Secretary, Butch Calhoun, to make sure ranchers know how to apply for assistance.  First of all, applications must be filed online, hand-delivered or postmarked by August 29.  The grants will not be first come first serve, so it is important to fill out an application even if you are getting close to the deadline.

 Irvin emphasized that it’s a good idea to turn in an application under any event, even if you don’t believe you qualify for the current program or you have missed a deadline, because then you will be on the list to be notified if additional assistance programs are started.

 Applications will be available through the Arkansas Agriculture Department ( or 501-683-4851), University of Arkansas’s Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service county offices (, the Arkansas Cattleman’s Association (, the Agricultural Council of Arkansas (, Farm Service Agency county offices, Natural Resource Conservation Service district offices, Conservation District offices and Arkansas Farm Bureau county offices (

 Potential applicants also may contact the Arkansas Agriculture Department

directly at #1 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205, or by telephone

at 501-683-4851.

 Besides filling out an application, you must also fill out a W-9 federal tax form.  All mailed applications must be postmarked on, or before, Wednesday, August 29,

2012. Hand-delivered applications will be accepted only during normal business hours

(8:00 a.m.– 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday) at #1 Natural Resources Drive, Little

Rock, AR 72205, and must be received by the Arkansas Agriculture Department before

4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 29, 2012.

Applications may be e-mailed to FAXes will not be accepted

 Irvin has been distributing application forms at sale barns and feed stores.  Word of mouth is effective, so when you pick up or download an application, mention it to neighbors, family and friends.  “It would be awful if someone missed out on the opportunity of getting assistance because they didn’t hear about it,” Irvin said.

 Irvin is working with Agriculture Department officials to provide hay staging areas throughout north central Arkansas, where more affordable bales from other parts of the state will be available.