CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Governor Mark Gordon and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture are urging Wyoming’s livestock producers to take actions to prepare for upcoming winter weather. He is also requesting a special disaster designation from the USDA, which provides farmers with emergency assistance.
The 2022-23 winter has been particularly hard for Wyoming’s sheep and cattle producers, due to a combination of factors. The winter started early and has resulted in significant snow levels and considerable drifting. Ongoing windy conditions and drifting snow are hampering efforts to reach livestock. Mortality has been high thus far, and is expected to increase well into the spring.
“We are well aware of the cumulative impacts this winter has brought to our ag producers,” Gordon said. “The State of Wyoming is already at work with partners, including the United States Department of Agriculture and Farm Service Agency, to determine losses, the period of impact and the geographic scale of impact due to these extraordinary conditions.”
This information, together with information from producers, will be used to submit a request for a Secretarial Disaster Designation in the coming days. Producers are urged to contact their local farm service agency as soon as possible so that required specific information can be submitted in the correct format.
USDA secretarial disaster designations must be requested of the Secretary of Agriculture by a governor or the governor’s authorized representative, by an Indian Tribal Council leader or by an FSA state executive director. The general process is described in further detail at the USDA’s website. The USDA offers several risk management and disaster assistance options to help producers recover after disasters.