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.