Farm Service Agency Can Help with Livestock Losses

Emergency Livestock Assistance Program Can Help with Livestock Losses

By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor

“It’s been a crash course for me,” said Aubrey Bettencourt, a third generation farmer in California. Last month, she was appointed by the Trump administration to serve as the executive director of the United States Department of Agriculture’s California Farm Service Agency. She recently spoke to California Ag Today about FSA programs for livestock losses, which would be applicable to all states across the country.

“Emergency Livestock Assistance Program … provides financial assistance for eligible producers for certain diseases, adverse weather events, wildfires, and more. These are great programs that we need, especially with some of the disasters California is dealing with,” Bettencourt said.

She is very close to the situation in southern California with all of the fires, which have affected a lot of cattle. Any cattleman or woman who is having trouble should get a hold of the FSA office immediately to get into the system to be matched up to programs such as ELAP.

“We also have a livestock indemnity programs, so if there is unfortunately a loss of livestock, we can definitely help you with that,” Bettencourt said.

ELAP also has a forage program that helps if you have lost the ability to graze, and there are also other programs along the lines of secondary insurance for non insurable crops that can be purchased ahead of time.

“In case there is a disaster, we can help cover some of the costs if you are not able to graze or you are not able to care for cattle in some capacity because of the loss or a disaster of some sort,” Bettencourt explained.

“I would encourage you not only to reach out to our offices, but a lot of the really good trade associations have great information on this as well,” she said.

FSA Celebrates American Agriculture Producers on National Ag Day

USDA California Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Val Dolcini, encourages everyone to take a moment to appreciate the hard working farmers and ranchers in California on March 25, National Ag Day.

This year’s theme is “Agriculture: 365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed.”

USDA is proud to stand behind the producers who rise before dawn 365 days a year in order to put food on the table for 7 billion people.

“We recognize the importance of agriculture and hope that the recent passage of a new Farm Bill is a sign that 2014 will be a ‘banner year for the industry,” said Val Dolcini. There is no better way to show our support for farmers and ranchers than to begin implementing a new Farm Bill – legislation that will provide farmers, ranchers and consumers alike supportive results.”

While the American economy is rebounding and gaining strength, the agricultural economy has remained strong and at its best.

Looking ahead, the U.S. has seen a trend towards aging farmers; however, according to the recent Census of Agriculture, the nation is beginning to reverse that trend. There is an increase in the number of farmers under the age of 35.

And although the agriculture industry promises a bright future, many farmers and ranchers are still recovering from natural disasters that occurred this year, including the continuing drought.

Fortunately, these producers were still able to grow the commodities that Americans rely on in order to remain a food-secure nation.

Please join FSA in celebrating America’s farmers and ranchers – a selfless group of individuals who make up less than two percent of the world’s population. They feed our country and make our nation secure. And, they supply quality foods to the rest of the world’s seven billion people.

None of the contributions of U.S. farmers and ranchers should be taken for granted, because no one can live without agriculture.

Ag Day is a project of the Agriculture Council of America. For further Ag Day information and events visit For information on programs administered by FSA, please contact your local FSA office or visit us online at





50 California Counties to Receive USDA Emergency Conservation Program Assistance


USDA California Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Val Dolcini announced TODAY Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) availability for 50 of 58 counties in California.


ECP provides emergency funding and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and for implementing emergency water conservation measures in periods of severe drought.


The program’s initial focus will be to provide assistance to livestock producers with emergency water needs. Interested producers can sign up between February 10 and March 27, 2014. The counties eligible for ECP assistance related to drought are listed at the end of this posting.


Dolcini encouraged farmers and ranchers impacted by California’s ongoing drought to contact their local USDA Service Center to seek information and assistance. “2013 was one of the driest years in our history,” Dolcini said. “FSA is ready to help California’s farmers and ranchers who continue to be affected by this horrible drought.”

ECP is available to livestock producers with severe water shortages to assist where feasible with rehabilitation of spring developments, new or deepening of livestock wells, development of seeps, and pipeline, tanks, troughs and dugouts. The program will also assist with water hauling costs to confined livestock.


Producers must submit their requests for ECP assistance to FSA prior to beginning construction work. Completing constructive work before submitting an ECP request could result in forfeiture of program eligibility.


ECP program participants can receive financial assistance for up to 75 percent of the cost to implement approved emergency conservation practices.


For more information on ECP or other disaster assistance programs and loans, please contact your local county office or visit FSA online.







Contra Costa

El Dorado








Los Angeles














San Benito

San Bernardino

San Joaquin

San Luis Obispo

San Mateo

Santa Barbara

Santa Clara

Santa Cruz