Oklahoma Drought Commission Pushes Additional 17 Million Dollars to Districts

Listen to KC Sheperd talk with Blayne Arthur about the latest Emergency Drought Commission meeting.

At the latest Oklahoma Drought Commission meeting held on September 19, Farm Director KC Sheperd caught up with Ag Secretary Blayne Arthur and talked about the highlights from the meeting.

Arthur said she is grateful for the new commission members that were added during the last meeting. Those members include Pete Nichols of Washita County (appointed by the Speaker of the House) and Josh Emerson of McIntosh County (appointed by the Pro Tem).

At the meeting, Arthur said the drought commission decided to push the additional 17 million dollars out to the districts across the state.

 “The legislature directed those funds during the regular session, and we wanted to get some questions answered from the districts, and they provided a lot of information to us on those applications that were still sitting out there unfunded,” Arthur said. “I am very optimistic they are ready for those funds, and those will start going out the door in the new future.”

As requested at the last meeting, Arthur said the districts had the chance to come forward and talk about some of their biggest challenges and concerns at the current meeting.

“They gave us a great list of questions, concerns, things they liked, things they didn’t like, and I think that helped us make some good decisions today,” Arthur said. “Moving forward, if this is a program that continues in some capacity, I think we have certainly learned a lot about how we can make it the very best program we want it to be for ag producers.”

Now that the additional 17 million dollars have been allocated, Arthur said the next step is allowing the districts to go to work with those funds.

In the next 30 to 45 days, Arthur said the Emergency Drought Commission will meet again to discuss what will happen next.

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