FARMINGTON – Gary J. Raymond, executive director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency in Franklin County, said that sign-up for the Tree Assistance Program began Feb. 7 and will run until March 18. The program provides financial relief to owners of eligible trees, bushes, vines and forest land damaged by natural disasters.

“This legislation provides relief to farmers, ranchers, foresters and other agricultural producers who suffered damage due to severe weather in recent years,” said Raymond.

The program is the first of several to be launched in 2005 to help producers recover from natural disasters that occurred in 2003 and 2004.

Owners of eligible trees, bushes and vines from which an annual crop is produced for commercial purposes, eligible forest land owners who produce crops of timber for commercial purposes and eligible pecan producers may receive assistance.

For more information or to apply for assistance, tree owners should contact their local Farm Service Agency office. Additional information is available on the Web site at

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