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Oregon Legislature Offers Farmers $100 Million in Disaster Relief | 2021-12-14

At a special session on December 13, Oregon lawmakers have reached an agreement to provide relief to farmers and ranchers recovering from extreme heat and drought in 2021. The package includes:

  • $40 million for a disaster repayable agricultural loan program to fill gaps in federal disaster relief for agricultural producers and provide interim relief while Oregonians wait for federal funds. It will be delivered through local lenders;
  • $12 million for the Klamath Basin for household wells support, livestock wells, drought resistance and irrigation district support;

  • $9.7 million to combat drought on Klamath Tribe lands;

  • $10 million for agricultural workers who miss work due to unsafe working conditions resulting from extreme heat or smoke;

  • $9.75 million for assistance to irrigation districts to offset water use costs;

  • $5 million for the eradication of locusts and grasshoppers;

  • $5.75 million for assistance with domestic and community wells;

  • $3 million for an 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 Disaster Loan Program proposed by the State;

  • $1 million for technical assistance to BIPOC farmers and awareness raising on drought-resistant crops;

  • $1 million for drought resilience works 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 on this package since the beginning of the summer, and we are grateful that the legislature was able to secure its passage,” said Mary Anne Cooper, vice president of government affairs at the Oregon Farm Bureau. “Assistance for producers affected by natural disasters this year cannot come soon enough, and we look forward to working with the Oregon Department of Agriculture to implement the direct assistance program. We especially want to thank the Governor for his diligent pursuit of this natural disaster program, and our lawyers in the Legislative Assembly for being such strong advocates for its passage.

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