June 13, 2012--Rep. Cory Gardner seeks federal drought designation and assistance for Colorado farmers (Greeley Times)

U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner urged U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Tuesday to consider issuing a federal disaster declaration for drought-affected Colorado counties. Gardner wrote Vilsack that in the South Platte River Basin, for example, "below-average water levels are raising serious concerns for Colorado agriculture, local businesses and county and municipal governments." Gardner, a Yuma Republican who represents Colorado's 4th Congressional District, said in a Tuesday night interview that an emergency federal declaration could open the door to relief programs such as low-interest loans "to help farmers and ranchers who are facing fiscal challenges" because of the drought.

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