Governor seeks federal assistance for farmers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Governor seeks federal assistance for farmers

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PASCO, Wash--  Governor Gregoire spent Thursday in the Tri-Cities, speaking to farmers about getting federal assistance for weather damaged crops.

"We can't control when the rains come, the winds blow or when the sun will shine," she says.  "Agriculture is in a partnership with mother nature when it comes to weather."

It's a partnership many farmers aren't too happy with these days.

"In time for the July 1st deadline, I requested the USDA, in Tom Vilsack, to declare an agriculture disaster for 29 Washington counties," the governor adds.

"It has been a tough spring for a lot of farmers, in general, not just hay farmers," explains Drex Gant, a local farmer.  "I can speak to what's happening to the hay farmers in the Columbia Basin from here to clear up to Moses Lake, Quincy, George and beyond.  An excess of 90% of the first cutting alfalfa was damaged by rain."

It's because of that the governor is asking for help.

"Many cases it will provide our ranchers, our farmers and our businesses with access to emergency, low-interest loans," the governor explains.  "And is appropriate, it will allow them to receive crop insurance for losses."