Gov. Scott Walker received input at the State Capitol to help assess the impact of and continuing response to the 2012 Drought.
Currently, a majority of Wisconsin remains abnormally dry or in moderate drought, and soil moisture levels are below normal for this time of year.
"While crops have been harvested for the season and fields prepared for winter, there are still challenges ahead for our farmers," said Gov. Walker.
He continued, "By bringing everyone to the same table we can assess the needs in our Wisconsin communities, share available assistance, and talk about how we deal with those future challenges together. We are committed to our state's farmers as they continue to recover from this difficult year and prepare for next season."
This meeting between government leaders and stakeholders is part of the ongoing effort by the administration to share information and coordinate resources.
Members of agricultural producer organizations, local government associations, and environmental representatives sat down with Gov. Walker, Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Ben Brancel, Wisconsin Emergency Management's Bureau Director of Planning and Preparedness Greg Engle, the USDA's Wisconsin Farm Service Agency Executive Director Brad Pfaff, and University of Wisconsin-Extension Associate Dean John Shutske.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack granted Gov. Walker's request for natural disaster designations due to either the early spring-late frost in March or the drought this summer.
Thirty additional Wisconsin counties received a primary Secretarial disaster designation and 36 additional counties received a contiguous designation in regards to the early spring-late frost in March.
Manitowoc County was designated as a primary disaster designation in response to the drought along with four additional contiguous counties.
This designation makes farm operators in those counties eligible to be considered for assistance including emergency loans.
Affected farmers seeking further information on assistance available through this disaster designation should contact their local FSA office.
Drought resources are available at http://readywisconsin.wi.gov/drought.