Hay lottery expanded to tri-state area
BISMARCK – The hay lottery organized by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) and North Dakota State University (NDSU) N.D. Agricultural Experiment Station has been expanded to drought-affected producers in the tri-state area.
“We are pleased to open the hay lottery to producers in South Dakota and Montana experiencing drought and wildfire,” North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “Ag Community Relief, the Michigan organization arranging a large-scale hay donation convoy to North Dakota in mid-August, is fundraising and continues to seek donations and volunteers. We are so appreciative of their efforts. We are also grateful to NDSU for providing the space and staffing to store and distribute the donated hay. Without these two entities, this would not be possible.”
“Once we started hearing from producers on how severe the drought was, we knew we had to help in some way,” said Matt Schaller, president of Ag Community Relief. “With such a large area affected, a program like this hay lottery really made sense. It's just too hard to pick and choose who receives what hay we can bring. This program will give everyone a little hope and let them know that farmers across America are thinking of them. We really hope to see hay come in from all over the Midwest to help these folks in their time of need.”
Any individuals or organizations willing to donate hay or trucking for the hay lottery should call NDDA’s Drought Hotline at 701-425-8454 to get information about delivery to the collection site near the NDSU campus.
“The North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station, through the Department of Animal Sciences, is ready to assist producers who have been adversely impacted by this year’s drought conditions and grassland fires,” said Greg Lardy, NDSU Animal Sciences department head. “We know livestock producers in this region are struggling to find adequate hay supplies for their livestock, and this program is one small way we can help them.”
Livestock producers interested in applying for the hay lottery should fill out and submit their state’s application. Applications for each state are available at www.nd.gov/ndda. Eligible producers must be from a D2, D3 or D4 or fire-affected county and own at least 25 animal unit equivalents of state-specific livestock. Eligible livestock and a description of animal unit equivalents may be found directly on each state’s application. The latest drought monitor depicting the drought levels of specific counties may be found at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/. The application deadline is August 31, 2017.
Each state will conduct their own drawings.
“With much of South Dakota experiencing drought conditions, the hay lottery is a great resource for producers looking for additional feed for livestock,” said South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Mike Jaspers. “I appreciate Ag Community Relief, all the producers providing hay and the North Dakota Department of Agriculture for making this program possible.”
“Donations have been pouring in from throughout Montana to help folks affected by both drought and fire. These people are the unsung heroes of the disaster response and a reminder of how the worst of times can bring out the best in people,” said Montana Department of Agriculture Director Ben Thomas. “We are proud and grateful to join with Ag Community Relief and our friends in North and South Dakota to get more resources to those affected.”
The hay will be distributed in semi-load lots with the first drawing in early September. If additional donations are taken in after that date, more drawings will occur. Drawings will occur in two age categories: ages 35 and under, and ages 36 and above. Producers that are selected will be responsible for arranging hay transportation from the NDSU site.
Questions about filling out the hay lottery application may be directed to 701-328-4764 or 1-844-642-4752.