Sally and I continue to pray for those who have lost so much in recent days, especially the families and friends of Sloan Everett, Cody Crockett, Sydney Wallace, and Cade Koch. Nothing can ever replace the loss of a loved one.
For those who have lost livestock and property, it is important to assess the losses as soon as it is safe and begin the assistance process with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Agriculture producers who have suffered livestock and property losses in the recent wildfires to file a Notice of Loss with the USDA to begin the federal assistance process. A Notice of Loss must be filed within 30 days of the time of the loss by phone or in person at local USDA county service centers. County service center locations can be found on their website at https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.
To qualify, you must have legally owned the eligible livestock, poultry, or swine on the day they died, and they must:
- Have died due to an eligible weather event on or after Oct. 1, 2011 and no later than 60 days from the end date of the event.
- Have been for commercial use in a farming operation on the day they died.
- Have died in the calendar year of requested benefits.
The program excludes wild, free-roaming animals, or pets or animals used for recreational purposes, like for hunting, roping, or show.
You must have had possession and control of the livestock and a written agreement with the livestock owner. The specific terms, conditions, and obligations of both parties must be set.
The following resources and information have been provided by the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC).
Agriculture Indemnity Program
Several programs authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill provide benefits to livestock producers for livestock deaths due to wildfires and other natural disasters.
Livestock Supply Points
The following livestock supply points are currently receiving and distributing donated feed resources to producers impacted by wildfires. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is not involved in the donation or distribution process. FSA is, however, raising awareness of the supply point locations where resources are available to producers located in counties affected by wildfires.
Supply Point 1
Serving ranchers in Gray, Wheeler and Roberts counties
301 Bull Barn Dr
Contact: Mike Jeffcoat
Supply Point 2
Serving ranchers in in Ochiltree, Lipscomb, Hemphill and Roberts counties
202 West Main St
Contact: J.R. Spragg
Texas Department of Agriculture Hay Hotline
TDA's hay hotline helps agricultural producers locate forage and hay supplies for sale. If you need hay or would like to donate hay, visit www.gotexan.org/hayhotlinehome.aspx or call 877-429-1998.
For questions about carcass disposal call the Texas Commission on Environment Quality (TCEQ) at 800-832-8224 or visit their website at www.tceq.texas.gov.
Lost or Found Livestock
- If you find cattle or other livestock with official identification, document the number, location of the animal(s), and call the TAHC at 512-719-0733 or 806-354-9335 and TAHC will contact the owner. If you find stray cattle that have a brand, call Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) at 817-332-7064 for brand identification.
- If cattle have strayed onto your property, you must report them to the sheriff's office in the county you are located in within five days of discovery to be eligible for reasonable payment for maintenance of or damages caused by the estray livestock. For more information regarding Texas' estray laws visit: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/AG/htm/AG.142.htm.