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Senate vote on disaster assistance commended

DENVER- Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) commends the U.S. Senate for their passage Thursday of the fiscal year (FY) 2007 Supplemental Appropriations bill that includes $4 billion in emergency disaster assistance. RMFU appreciates the leadership of Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., in fighting to include the disaster assistance; and, the support of Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., for passage of the legislation.

“We are very pleased that the Senate has passed disaster assistance,” said RMFU President Kent Peppler, Mead, Colo., lobbying all week for disaster assistance in Washington, D.C. “The action by the Senate, following similar action in the House of Representatives last week, will provide millions of dollars of needed financial assistance to family farmers and ranchers in the Rocky Mountain region.”

Family farmers and ranchers from the RMFU region of Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico have faced devastating weather conditions, droughts, wildfires, tornados and severe snowstorms which have placed significant burdens on producers, including the loss of between 10,000 and 15,000 head of livestock in this winter’s storms alone. “RMFU urges House and Senate conferees to include disaster assistance in the final bill sent to the President. We then ask President Bush to sign this legislation and give producers the aid they so desperately need,” Peppler said. “The benefit of this disaster assistance will have a ripple effect benefiting rural businesses and the economies of our states.”

RMFU President Kent Peppler, a farmer from Weld County, was joined by Monty Niebur, a farmer from Washington County in Washington, D.C. this week as part of the National Farmers Union spring legislative fly-in. They visited with members of the Congressional delegation from throughout western United States on the importance of disaster assistance, the 2007 farm bill and other issues important to family farmers and ranchers.

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is a general farm organization representing 25,000 families in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico.