Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Takes Additional Action to Aid Drought-Stricken Kentucky Farmers

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, October 24, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker
502-564-2611

David Devers
502-564-3419
 


Signs executive order to  expedite delivery of hay, other relief supplies 

FRANKFORT, Ky. – In a further action to help farmers survive Kentucky’s exceptional drought conditions, Governor Ernie Fletcher has issued an executive order directing the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to waive all fees normally associated with intrastate and interstate transportation of agricultural relief supplies. The order will help put the delivery of hay and other vital supplies on a fast track to the state’s livestock producers.

“Our farmers have faced a serious challenge to their livelihood in 2007,” said Governor Fletcher.  “We’re all very thankful for the rainfall we’ve had over the past few days. It will definitely have a positive effect on the surface drought conditions, but it’s far too late to impact the feed crisis that livestock producers face. We are therefore taking additional action to address this crisis situation which threatens farmers all across the Commonwealth.”

The executive order temporarily waives fees for carriers hauling hay and other livestock forage to Kentucky farmers. It also waives certain size and weight restrictions for those carriers, though they still will be required to obtain permits required for route verification.

“These temporary exemptions will not compromise safety,” said Governor Fletcher. “Size and weight restrictions will be determined on a case-by-case basis, and law enforcement personnel at all levels will be directed to enforce all regulations in coordination with the waivers.”

Commissioner of Agriculture Richie Farmer praised the Governor’s action, saying, “This will make it easier and cheaper for cattle producers, horse farms and others to get the forages they need to feed their herds through the winter.”

2007 began with a brutally cold winter in Kentucky, followed by a late and detrimental frost. Then came the driest summer in more than a century.

In late August Governor Fletcher requested U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance for Kentucky farmers. A week later the Governor wrote Kentucky’s congressional delegation to encourage swift legislative action, including direct financial assistance to Kentucky farmers.

In late September, at the Governor’s urging, the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board approved changes to the County Model Programs, making them more “drought friendly” to producers across the state.

On Oct. 2, Governor Fletcher received word from USDA that all 120 Kentucky counties had been declared eligible for emergency loans.


Editor's note: A copy of the executive order is attached.


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10.24.07 drought relief.pdf