USDA helps farmers

By: Hannah Paczkowski

 The past couple years haven't been the easiest for Tom Peterson, he said the drought in 2012 was a struggle for his farm.

“We ran dry of ours with everything, crops and livestock, pastures and stuff,” he said.

Thousands of farms across the state suffered that year. Last October, a blizzard hit western Neb. killing up to hundreds of thousands of livestock.

Farmers and ranchers who lost money due to the severe weather conditions can now rest a little easier. The USDA said they're stepping in and giving a percentage of losses back to farmers to help pay off debts or restock their herds.

“This will help producers stay on their ranch, stay on their farm by helping them cover some of these costs that occurred due to these terrific losses,” USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden said.

This disaster program won't cover all of the costs lost, but enough to hopefully keep most ranchers and farmers afloat.

“You've got to have us around to make the food, keep growing the cows, keep making the meat,” Peterson said.

To sign up for the disaster program, take records of your losses and farm to the nearest FSA office.