Gov. Jay Nixon today visited a family farm in Polk County to survey a new well that has been installed as a result of the Governor's emergency drought relief program. The Governor visited the family livestock operation in Polk County after visiting a Newton County dairy farm earlier in the day. The program also is helping the Newton County farm install a new well.
"Agriculture, from the jobs it provides to the revenue it generates, is a pillar of the Missouri economy," Gov. Nixon said. "That's why we've taken immediate steps to support this important sector of our economy during a very difficult time. Through this targeted, one-time emergency program, only those projects which would provide timely and substantive relief were approved. This ensured that these dollars were limited, and invested only in those projects which will help this industry survive unprecedented drought conditions."
Gov. Nixon issued an executive order on July 23, authorizing the State Soil & Water Districts Commission to establish the program to provide urgent relief for farmers and producers facing critical shortages of water. To be eligible for the program, projects had to provide immediate and material relief for the farmer or producer. The same day, Gov. Nixon signed a separate executive order declaring a State of Emergency in Missouri because of the drought.
Because of the emergency nature of the program, project applications were due by 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6. Officials from the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources are supporting local soil and water districts in reviewing the applications to determine eligibility for funding.
To date, Gov. Nixon has reported that the emergency cost-share program has approved more than 4,400 applications for assistance, at an average cost of approximately $4,800 per livestock project. The program covers 90 percent of the cost of the emergency water project, such as digging or deepening a well or connecting a farm to rural water. The producer or farmer pays the remaining 10 percent. The maximum state match for any project is $20,000.
Funding for this emergency program comes from unallocated reserve funds provided by the State Soil & Water Districts Commission and state resources made available by Gov. Nixon through House Bill 8, which provides the Governor the authority to direct funds for "responding during a declared emergency at the direction of the Governor, provided the services furnish immediate aid and relief."