HELENA – Producers in Montana affected by drought and fire are now eligible to participate in the first ever hay lottery. Ag Community Relief, is organizing a large-scale hay donation convoy to North Dakota to aid producers in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. The first convoy of hay will be delivered in mid-August but more deliveries could arrive as the group continues to fundraise and seek donations and volunteers. The donated hay will be delivered to North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo, N.D. Any other individuals or organizations willing to donate hay or trucking for the hay lottery should call the North Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Drought Hotline at 701-425-8454.
“Donations have been pouring in from throughout Montana to help folks affected by both drought and fire. These people are the unsung heroes of the disaster response and a reminder of how the worst of times can bring out the best in people,” said MDA Director Ben Thomas. “We are proud and grateful to join with Ag Community Relief and our friends in North and South Dakota to get more resources to those affected.”
Livestock producers interested in applying for the hay lottery must submit an application at https://www.nd.gov/ndda/montana-hay-lottery. Each state has its own lottery, although North Dakota will administer the applications. Eligible producers must be from a D2, D3 or D4 or fire-affected county and own at least 25 animal unit equivalents of state-specific livestock. Eligible livestock and a description of animal unit equivalents may be found directly on each state’s application. The latest drought monitor depicting the drought levels of specific counties may be found at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/.
The application deadline is August 31, 2017.
The hay will be distributed in semi-load lots with the first drawing in early September. If additional donations are taken in after that date, more drawings will occur. Drawings will occur in two age categories: ages 35 and under, and ages 36 and above. Producers that are selected will be responsible for arranging hay transportation from the NDSU site.
Questions about filling out the hay lottery application may be directed to 701-328-4764.
The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit agr.mt.gov.