NCDA&CS raises reimbursement limits for programs helping farmers with hay-transportation costs
In response to the rising cost of hay shipments, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recently increased the reimbursement limits for two programs aimed at helping drought-stricken livestock owners with the cost of moving hay to their farms.
The Ag and Equine Partners hay relief programs help owners of cattle, sheep, goats and horses with the cost of moving hay purchased outside North Carolina. (See page 4 for more details on the Equine Partners program.)
The programs will reimburse livestock owners up to $500 for a load of hay moved from out of state. Livestock owners may seek cost-share funds for up to three loads. The new limits apply to hay hauled since Dec. 4, the day the Council of State approved $250,000 in emergency funds for the cost-share programs.
Reimbursement had been limited to $300 for a single load of hay.
Reimbursements will be made on a first-come, first-served basis as long as funding is available.
“The money from the Council of State augments $50,000 in private donations our department previously obtained,” Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said. “Through this public-private partnership, North Carolina is helping its livestock owners cope with the drought and feed animals this winter. I am thankful to Governor Easley, my fellow Council of State members and the companies and organizations that have stepped up to help our farmers with this challenge.”
For information about applying for assistance from Ag Partners or Equine Partners, call the department’s Hay Alert hotline at 1-866-506-6222 or log on to www.ncagr.com/hayalert.
The department will continue to seek private support for the programs, Troxler said. Businesses and organizations interested in contributing to Ag Partners or Equine Partners may contact Chrissy Lucas at (919) 733-7125 or firstname.lastname@example.org.