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Low-Interest Emergency Loan Opportunity for Farmers and Ranchers

State of Arizona

Janice K. Brewer Office of the Governor Main Phone: 602-542-4331 Governor 1700 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007 Facsimile: 602-542-7601

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 6, 2013

Governor Brewer Announces Disaster Designation for Yavapai, Contiguous Counties

Funding will Help Farmers and Other Landowners

PHOENIX – Governor Jan Brewer today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has agreed granted a Secretarial Disaster Designation to Yavapai County, as well as five contiguous counties, in response to intense drought that has impacted the region in recent years.

With this federal designation, farm operators in Yavapai and neighboring counties – including Coconino, La Paz, Mohave, Gila and Maricopa – now are eligible to apply for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency (FSA). In January, a Secretarial Disaster Designation was issued for Apache, Gila, Graham, Greenlee Navajo, Pima and Pinal counties. Today’s designation leaves just two Arizona counties – Santa Cruz and Cochise – awaiting eligibility for federal funding.

"Today’s announcement is great news for Arizona farmers in these six counties, who’ve endured significant land damage and agricultural losses due to extreme drought," said Governor Brewer. "Our farmers and ranchers are the backbone of this nation, and I am grateful to the USDA for providing assistance during their time of need."

With the disaster designation, the USDA found that agricultural production losses in the counties were sufficient to warrant federal assistance. Eligible farm operators in the affected areas have eight months in which to apply for low-interest emergency loans from the FSA, at which time the agency will determine whether damages and production losses are sufficient to warrant the funding.

"This opportunity is very important for our farmers and ranchers," said Don Butler, Arizona Department of Agriculture Director. "We've been facing this challenge for years - working to overcome hurdles from the lack of rain and snow. This added resource can help some folks through these dry times."

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