USDA Farm Service Agency Acting Administrator tours flood damage in Montana


Acting Farm Service Agency Administrator Bruce Nelson will travel to Montana today to tour areas of the state devastated by flooding.

“Severe weather this spring is making things extremely difficult for many farmers and ranchers,” said Nelson. “We want producers affected by the flooding to know that we are here for them and we have several programs in place that could help them during this recovery period.”

Nelson, who is a resident of Montana, is scheduled to tour the Huntley Project irrigation canal that was damaged when Pryor Creek flooded, taking away more than 100 feet of the district’s canal system. The Huntley Project irrigates more than 20,000 acres of land that grows six crops, including sugar beets, malt barley, spring wheat, corn, hay and grass.

Other stops include a senior center in Billings, a meeting at the Council on Aging and a visit through the city of Roundup, an agricultural community that was hit by flooding twice in two weeks. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Montana State Conservationist Joyce Swartzendruber will also be in attendance.

“It’s one thing to hear about disasters on the news, but when you see firsthand the damage it has caused and the lives it is affecting, it makes you appreciate being in a position where you can help people and make a difference,” said Nelson.

USDA administers several programs to assist disaster-stricken areas. In the wake of several disasters that have affected Montanans and others, USDA and the entire federal family have been working with state and local officials to provide relief to residents, farmers, ranchers, businesses and those who need it most.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week that $3 million has been allocated to the Emergency Watershed Protect Program administered by NRCS to carry out emergency restoration projects in five western states experiencing flooding or at risk for flooding.

Source: USDA Farm Service Agency