Huckabee Asks for Statewide Agriculture Disaster Declaration

AUGUST 23, 2005 - Posted at 12:39 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Huckabee has asked the federal government to declare the entire state of Arkansas an agricultural disaster area because of the drought.

Huckabee is asking that Arkansas get the highest priority because of the economic impact the drought is having on the state.

Huckabee made the request to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns.

The governor noted that the southwest corner of the state has been particularly hard hit.  Huckabee says both farmers and ranchers have been hurt by the drought.

The declaration will open avenues of federal aid to farmers.  Huckabee says the declaration is all the more urgent because almost a quarter of Arkansas jobs are related to agriculture and that 20 percent of the state's gross product is from farming.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)