Relief for Union County Ranchers

Ranchers in Union and Colfax counties are eligible for federal disaster aid following severe winter weather that wrecked havoc on New Mexico just before the new year.

U-S Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico says eligible applicants have eight months to apply for a low-interest emergency loan from the Farm Service Agency.

Bingaman and other New Mexico officials have called on the U-S Department of Agriculture to make all counties impacted by the recent snow eligible for disaster aid.

Governor Richardson had asked Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns to approve New Mexico's application for disaster assistance earlier this month.

After the storm, Richardson directed the New Mexico National Guard to use helicopters to help with relief efforts in northeastern New Mexico.

The Guard checked on residents stranded in their homes and dropped bales of hay to livestock in remote areas.