Dell Kerbs Cheers Drought Help Soon to Head to the CountryTue, 04 Oct 2022 14:35:11 CDT
Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, visited with the Chair of the Oklahoma House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, Dell Kerbs, talking about the dollars allocated to aid Oklahoma producers in drought.
“I am very thankful that we have the three million to go ahead and start getting deployed and I think the plans that have come forth today and what the drought commission has moved on is definitely a good start,” Kerbs said. “We all know three million when we talk on a statewide level is not a lot of funds. Again, I will go back to, at least we have three million to be able to start.”
Kerbs said he is thankful for his colleagues in supporting the language in the bill in HB1006xx (Emergency Drought Relief Fund) in the special session to bring 20 million dollars more into the drought commission.
In these early stages of getting the drought funds deployed, Kerbs said a priority is figuring out how to help in the transportation of hay feed and water without superseding or stepping over FSA.
“FSA has been really good to a lot of our producers,” Kerbs said. “We want to make sure we are helping with those and supplementing and hitting those gaps that FSA didn’t cover for transportation and for hay feed and water.”
Kerbs said it is time to think outside of the box toward long-term investments to help mitigate future drought issues.
“It is really interesting on the drought map, because when we talk about drought, the western side, we always think is drought,” Kerbs said. “If you look at the drought map right now, it is really centrally and southern centrally located and further to the east where we don’t think about drought. So, I commend the commission on making sure that even on the three million they are deploying, that it is going to all 84 conservation districts to really spread that money out.”
For producers who already had to spend money on drought-related issues, Kerbs said an essential part of the Emergency Drought Commission’s plan needs to be helping those individuals with some reimbursement.
“We don’t want to penalize them for being proactive in those kinds of things,” Kerbs said. “And I want to be able to help those that don’t have those means sitting available to do that.”
Kerbs said as we look to the next legislative session, the drought discussion shall continue.
Because drought and inflation will probably be here for a while, Kerbs said, it is critical to be proactive and reactive, so the work for drought aid shall continue as the next legislative session approaches.
Click Here to Listen to Ron Hays and Dell Kerbs talking highlights from the second Emergency Drought Commission meeting.
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