MDA expanding hay lottery, taking donations

The Montana Department of Agriculture has announced the expansion of the Montana Hay Lottery. MDA is partnering with Miles Community College to house the donated hay and help with logistics and the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation to help coordinate cash donations to be used for transportation costs. The lottery will be administered by MDA, with drawings taking place in early October.  Producers who have already applied for the lottery, but were not chosen in the first drawing, will still be eligible for subsequent drawings.
 “The outpouring of support for Montana’s ag community has been nothing short of amazing. We saw a need to help coordinate donations, so we decided to expand the lottery,” said MDA Director Ben Thomas. “We are grateful to MCC and the Stockgrowers for partnering with us to get these resources to those affected by fires and drought.”
 Those interested in making donations of hay/feed or transportation should call MDA’s Fire & Drought Assistance Hotline at 1-844-515-1571. Those interested in making a cash donation should call the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation at (406) 442-3420.
Livestock producers interested in applying for the hay lottery must submit an application at http://agr.mt.gov/Hay-Lottery-2017. 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. The latest drought monitor depicting the drought levels of specific counties may be found at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?MT.
 The application deadline is September 30, 2017.
 The hay will be distributed in semi-load lots with the next drawing in early October. If additional donations are taken in after that date, more drawings will occur. Producers that are selected will be responsible for arranging transportation of the hay from the Miles Community College in Miles City.
 Questions about filling out the hay lottery application may be directed to MDA’s Fire & Drought Assistance Hotline at 1-844-515-1571. 

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