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Secretary Vilsack Draws Attention to South Dakota Plight

21 October 2013

US - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has said that Congress can now look at livestock disaster assistance for South Dakota ranchers now government has resumed.

The announcement is directed to farmers in the western half of the state around the Black Hills area who have experienced emotional turmoil after tens of thousands of cattle perished in the storms of 4 to 7 October.

Speaking on the resumption of the government Mr Vilsack said: "We are asking Michael Scuse to head out to South Dakota to convey a message that we understand and appreciate the devastation that these storms have basically caused in livestock operations that we would love to be able to provide help and assistance.

"At this point all we can do is collect information, make sure that we have accurate information, so when and if the Congress reinstates the Livestock Disaster Assistance Programs, makes them retroactive to when they lapsed in 2011 we are in a position to provide help and assistance at some point in the future to allow folks to get through this tough time."

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