Today, Governor Tim Walz announced a $10 million drought relief package to support Minnesota farmers and livestock producers impacted by severe drought conditions during the 2021 growing season.
“Historic drought conditions have created extreme stress and financial hardship for our farmers and livestock producers during an already difficult time for the agricultural industry,” said Governor Walz. “As governor, and as someone who grew up on a family farm, I stand with our farmers. This funding will provide much-needed relief to Minnesota’s agricultural community and help ensure our farmers can keep feeding Minnesota and the world.”
The Governor’s proposal includes $5 million in rapid response grants to provide drought relief for livestock producers and specialty crop producers. Examples of eligible costs include water handling equipment such as water tanks, pipeline, and water wagons, water hauling, wells, and irrigation equipment.
The funding proposal also includes $5 million for the Rural Finance Authority’s Disaster Recovery Loan Program. The Rural Finance Authority’s Disaster Recovery Loan Program makes zero-interest loans available immediately for Minnesota farmers whose operations are suffering from lack of rain. The Disaster Recovery Loan Program can be used to help cover lost revenue or expenses not covered by insurance.
More details on the drought relief package will be announced soon.
This summer, Governor Walz met with agricultural leaders across the state to hear how the drought has impacted them. Governor Walz also met with President Joe Biden and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to ask that all levels of government work together to address the impacts of this drought on Minnesota’s farmers.