The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, designated two more counties as primary natural disaster areas due to drought. This brings the total number of primary designation counties to eight while eight other counties qualify for assistance as contiguous to the primary counties.

Governor Mead made a request for all Wyoming counties to receive a drought disaster declaration, except for Teton County. The Secretary of Agriculture has been reviewing conditions for each county as drought information is received.

Governor Mead said,

“We are seeing ranchers and sheep producers selling off livestock because of a lack of grass and hay, Wildfires have burned up pasture land further. It is hard to watch. Drought disaster declarations provide some relief and I will continue to push for all counties in Wyoming to receive assistance because the entire state is impacted in this exceptionally dry year.”

The federal drought disaster declaration makes agricultural operators eligible for some assistance from the Farm Service Agency. The producer does have to meet eligibility requirements and the assistance includes emergency loans. Local Farm Service Agency offices can provide more information to agriculture operators.

The counties that have received primary designation are: Hot Springs, Laramie, Carbon, Sweetwater, Uinta, Lincoln, Sublette and Fremont. Those that qualify as contiguous counties are: Albany, Natrona, Converse, Platte, Goshen, Washakie, Park and Teton.