Relief is in sight for hundreds of Colorado farmers and ranchers, devastated by recent storms. Senator Ken Salazar was in Southern Colorado Saturday, to survey the damage as part of an effort to obtain federal aid. Salazar told 11 News, the money-- 4 to 5 billion dollars-- would save many farmers and ranchers their livelihoods. He says getting the aid will take a multi-state, bipartisan effort.
"There is a lot of work to be done as we enter into the recovery phase," said Salazar. "We believe there are 15,000 dead cattle across the Eastern Plains."
Salazar says he and several other senators are pushing to get the multi-billion dollar federal aid package. The money would compensate Colorado ranchers and farmers for their loss, as well as help farmers in other states hit by natural disasters.
"It will provide disaster assistance for states hit by drought, like in North Dakota, and snow blizzards here in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska."
Salazar says the money would come from the Department of Agriculture and in the long term, fund grants and low-interest loans for farmers and ranchers. In the short term, he says it would compensate ranchers for both the money they lost when their cattle died, and the money it will cost them to remove the cattle.
"Can you imagine 15,000 cattle that have to be disposed of? That is one big mess."
Salazar says he will take the first possible opportunity to push the package through the senate, which he says should come within the next 2 months.