Governor Matt Blunt took a whirlwind tour of drought-stricken areas of the state today, including Jasper County.
Dressed in a long-sleeved shirt and wearing a t-shirt beneath his shirt in 100-degree weather, Blunt, accompanied by state Department of Agriculture Director Fred Ferrell visited Jasper, Greene, Boone, Adair, and Marion counties.
The governor's news release read, "It is difficult to understand the devastating impact of drought until you see it first hand. Drought is a natural disaster that can damage farming operations every bit as much as a tornado or a flood," Blunt said.
"I want Missouri's hardworking farm families to know that I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure they have access to all available resources to help surmount these difficulties."
The release continues: Blunt has activated Missouri's Drought Assessment Committee and asked the USDA Farm Service Agency to complete crop damage assessment reports for every Missouri County. Once these assessments are complete, the governor will formally request USDA secretarial disaster declarations for eligible counties, making federal assistance available to farmers in those counties.
"Everywhere we visited it was evident that we will need more than a few inches of rain to recover from this drought. Damage to row crops across the state is extensive and the heavy burden that has been placed upon our livestock producers is unsustainable," Ferrell said. "Our governor has already taken the important steps needed in being instrumental in sustaining our farm families through this challenging time."