You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Deadline for ‘Operation New Fences’ nears
AUSTIN -- With more than 3 million acres burned, 233 Texas counties under burn bans, and temperatures reaching record highs, fire experts are calling this one of the worst fire seasons in Texas history. According to the Texas Forest Service, six of the 10 largest fires ever recorded in Texas have occurred this year, scorching more than 4,000 miles of ranch fences -- more miles than needed to fence the entire perimeter of Texas. As ranchers begin to rebuild their lives, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples is encouraging them to apply for assistance available through the Star of Texas Ag Relief (STAR) Fund, according to a June 29 Texas Department of Agriculture press release.
“Our farmers and ranchers are losing their livelihoods, and ultimately, all Americans will suffer through increased food prices,” Staples said. “Texans help their neighbors in need, and now is the time to assist families in rebuilding their lives and the farming and ranching operations on which we all rely.”
To start the rebuilding effort, the Texas Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the STAR Fund. The fund was created solely with monetary donations from private individuals and companies to help ranchers rebuild fences through an initiative created by Staples called “Operation New Fences.” McCoy’s Building Supply generously donated the first $20,000.
Additionally, Valero Energy Corp. donated $10,000. Thanks to these generous contributions and donations from Texans across the state, those approved for STAR Fund assistance may be awarded a voucher for fencing supplies worth up to $500 (exact voucher values will be determined based on the number of eligible producers applying).
STAR Fund applications may be downloaded at www.TexasAgriculture.gov.
To be eligible, applicants must have applied for federal assistance through the Emergency Conservation Program and submit the Emergency Conservation Program 848A form with their application. Applications will also be available at local AgriLife Extension offices in counties that are eligible for emergency funding. All applications must be mailed to the Texas Department of Agriculture and postmarked by Friday, July 15.
Wildfires are still burning in Texas, and the impact to ranchers is not over. A second round of funding is planned and needed in the fall to help additional farmers and ranchers impacted by ongoing wildfires.
To make a donation to the STAR Fund, or for more information, visit www.TexasAgriculture.gov and click on STAR Fund. Ranchers may also call 512- 475-1615.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
Bull Classic Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
Davidson: Reduce antibiotic use, dispel beef myths (November 25, 2015)
EPA proposes changes to pesticide applicator rules (November 25, 2015)
Farm Bureau responds to beef cancer claims (November 25, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 25, 2015)
Livestock disaster funding available (November 25, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 25, 2015)
Llama competitors shine in state, national shows (November 25, 2015)
Plan to attend grazing lands conference (November 25, 2015)
Plant cool weather veggies (November 25, 2015)
Rancher’s Choice bull sale Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
Skills team places sixth (November 25, 2015)
TPWD announces annual trout stocking (November 25, 2015)
All Breed Bull Sale Nov. 21 in Nixon (November 18, 2015)
Clean Water Rule continues to make waves in Congress (November 18, 2015)
Conservation Service: Tips for planting winter pastures (November 18, 2015)
County committee elections begin (November 18, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 18, 2015)
Here’s the beef: Patterson wins FFA national title (November 18, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 18, 2015)
Moczygemba: Angus group CEO (November 18, 2015)
Onion recommendations (November 18, 2015)
A river runs through it: River changes spark border dispute (November 11, 2015)
Cold-sensitive oriental hibiscus (November 11, 2015)
Gov. Abbott: EPA’s Clean Power Plan is ‘power grab’ (November 11, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 11, 2015)
Knowles winner of mule deer hunt package (November 11, 2015)
Letter: A war on Texas: Bureau of Land Management vs. Texas ranchers (November 11, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 11, 2015)
Palo Alto College hosts FFA leadership conference (November 11, 2015)
Rodeo athletes place in Hallettsville contest (November 11, 2015)
‘Old Iron’ club show canceled! (November 11, 2015)
Antique Farm Equipment Demonstration and Field Day, Nov. 14 (November 4, 2015)
Cattlemen’s seminar Nov. 14 in Kosciusko (November 4, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 4, 2015)
Impacts of rural land loss (November 4, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 4, 2015)
Rain can be blessing, curse for farmers (November 4, 2015)
Ranch Rodeo fun in Nixon (November 4, 2015)
Ranching event set for Nov. 11 in Panna Maria (November 4, 2015)
Tips for spraying broccoli, cabbage (November 4, 2015)
Wet winter, spring is good news for hunters (November 4, 2015)
November 2015 Gardening Calendar (November 1, 2015)