State Briefs

Drought aid offered to N.C. farmers

The Associated PressApril 23, 2008 

— Farmers hurt by the drought can tap into a $6 million fund to help them recover and prepare for the growing season.

Farm advocacy groups and state officials on Tuesday announced a program that could help more than 1,000 farmers restore pastures, construct new farm ponds and drill wells. Grants will be distributed to cover 75 percent of the costs.

The money will come from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund, which receives money from the national tobacco settlement.

The state Agriculture Department is sending 60,000 letters to farmers and others letting them know about the available money.

Lawmakers said they will seek another $6 million when the General Assembly convenes next month.

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