Roosevelt farmers, ranchers eligible for disaster aid

Freedom New Mexico

Roosevelt and Quay are among six New Mexico counties declared eligible for disaster assistance Thursday due to continuing drought.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., announced eligibility due to their proximity to Texas counties, which were declared disaster areas.

Farmers and ranchers in Dona Ana, Eddy, Lea, Otero, Quay, and Roosevelt counties are now eligible to be considered for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“These loans help farmers and ranchers who have been affected by drought get back on their feet,” Bingaman said.

To be eligible for the loan, a farmer or rancher must have lost 30 percent of their stock or crop due to the drought, said John R. Ledingham, a USDA farm loan manager.

Ledingham said the losses had to occur during the calendar year 2009.

Quay and Roosevelt farmers and ranchers can apply for the low interests loans — 3 3/4 percent — until the Dec. 14, Ledingham said.