Governor to request USDA Disaster Designation as Wyoming braces for upcoming winter weather

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CHEYENNE –  Governor Mark Gordon and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture are urging Wyoming’s livestock producers to take actions to prepare for upcoming winter weather. Preparing for the storm and caring for livestock during the storm is critical. However, these actions should only be taken if they can be accomplished safely.

The 2022-23 winter has been particularly hard for Wyoming’s sheep and cattle producers, due to a combination of factors. The winter started exceptionally early and has resulted in significant snow levels and considerable drifting. Ongoing windy conditions and drifting snow is hampering efforts to reach livestock. Mortality has been high thus far and is expected to increase well into the spring as a result of this harsh winter.

“We are well aware of the cumulative impacts this winter has brought to our ag producers, “Governor Gordon said. “The State of Wyoming is already at work with partners, including the United States Department of Agriculture and Farm Service Agency, to determine losses, the period of impact and the geographic scale of impact due to these extraordinary conditions.”

This information, together with information from producers, will be used to submit a request for a Secretarial Disaster Designation in the coming days. Producers are urged to contact their local Farm Service Agency as soon as possible so that required specific information can be submitted in the correct format.    

USDA Secretarial disaster designations must be requested of the Secretary of Agriculture, by a Governor or the Governor’s authorized representative, by an Indian Tribal Council leader, or by an FSA State Executive Director (SED). The general process is described in further detail under “Secretarial Disaster Designation Process.” USDA offers several risk management and disaster assistance options to help producers recover after disasters.