According to Sandy Orr, local County Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency, “Sheridan County producers have suffered terrible losses in the Wellnitz Fire over the past week, and the Farm Service Agency needs some information in order to apply for assistance for them.” The Sheridan County FSA Committee (COC) will be submitting an application to the national office for emergency programs to hopefully ease their losses. “However, in order to complete the application process we will need to know what sorts of things the producers need from us based on what their losses were, said Orr. In a couple days when things kind of settle down for them, we are asking that the producers contact this office and tell us what damages they had as a result of the fire.” Things to report to the local FSA office would be: an estimate on miles of fence needing replaced; were there any bladed firebreaks that will need to be leveled; the number and types of livestock lost; any Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grass acres or shelterbelts that suffered damage; did they have any bales of hay that were lost; and also information on structural damage is needed as well.”
With the large numbers of wildfires in the country this year funds may be limited but the Sheridan County COC is committed to trying their best to secure any help possible for the area producers. One of the programs that the COC will be submitting an application for is the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP). “When applying for this program the County Committee must ask the national office for the needed practices and the total dollars that will be needed by the county up front. Obviously that means the COC is going to have to make a guess, and the more information we can get from the people affected by the disaster the more accurate the request for assistance will be,” stated Mrs. Orr. “We don’t want to pry in your personal business, but we need to know a certain amount of information about what you lost before we can assign a dollar value to that and ask for assistance from the national office.”
Sheridan County producers who suffered damages in the Wellnitz Fire are asked to contact the local Farm Service Agency with any questions and report their losses to the staff at (308) 327-2489 extension 2.