MFU Urges Governor to Request a
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2004
GREAT FALLS, MT - In a letter to Governor Judy Martz today, Montana Farmers Union (MFU) President Brooks Dailey asked the Governor to move quickly and request a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Montana.
In the letter, Dailey described a MFU letter written two years ago to Congress urging disaster relief action. "The lengthening daylight hours of spring and summer in ag country usually signal new beginnings - the start of the ongoing cycle of birth, of nurture and of harvest. But not this year. This year, Montana agricultural producers are in the painful middle of their fourth - and sometimes fifth - year of drought. With each passing day, farmers and ranchers watch their hopes blow across the state along with the topsoil and wonder just how they will hang on for one more year."
"It was unimaginable two years ago that these words would still describe Montana's agricultural situation, but unfortunately it is so," said Dailey. "With agriculture being Montana's number one industry, the entire state feels the extreme economic and social toll being shouldered by agricultural producers."
Dailey thanked the Governor for asking USDA Secretary Ann Veneman to declare a number of Montana counties as disaster areas, and concluded by saying that quick and decisive action on the part of Governor Martz would offer a comprehensive approach of assistance to Montana farmers and ranchers who already are stretched to the limit by years of drought conditions.
"The Montana Farmers Union also truly appreciates the recent efforts of Senator Max Baucus and Congressman Denny Rehberg in offering legislative remedies in response to the ongoing drought," said Dailey. "By continuing to work together, perhaps we can provide some economic relief to drought stricken Montana farmers and ranchers."