BILLINGS - The Montana Department of Agriculture announced on Thursday an expansion to the state hay lottery for ranchers affected by the fires.
The MDA is partnering with Miles Community College to house the donated hay while the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation will help coordinate cash donations to be used for transportation costs.
The MDA will administer the lottery, with drawings taking place in early October. According to the MDA press release, producers who have already applied for the lottery but have not been chosen will still be eligible for future drawings.
To be eligible for the lottery, livestock producers must be from a D2, D3, or D4 or fire-affected county and must own at least 25 qualifying animals. About three-quarters of the state are under a D2 or higher drought level and an estimated 925,367 Montanans are under some kind of drought.
“The outpouring of support for Montana’s ag community has been nothing short of amazing,” said MDA Director Ben Thomas. “We saw a need to help coordinate donations, so we decided to expand the lottery. We are grateful to MCC and the Stockgrowers for partnering with us to get these resources to those affected by fires and drought.”
If more donations are received after the October drawing, additional lottery drawings will be held. Producers that are selected will be responsible for arranging transportation of the hay from the Miles Community College in Miles City.