Yesterday, Congressman Henry Cuellar and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) held Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) informational sessions in Hidalgo, Starr and Zapata counties. These sessions brought together ranchers, cattle owners, and members of the community to learn more about ELAP and how it can assist ranchers in combatting fever tick and keeping their livestock healthy. These sessions were hosted by the office of Congressman Henry Cuellar in conjunction with FSA. ELAP provides financial assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish for losses due to disease, certain adverse weather events or loss conditions. In Texas’ 28th District, ELAP will reimburse ranchers that reside in each of the four quarantined counties (Zapata, Hidalgo, Webb and Starr) for rounding cattle up to transport them to dipping treatment sites.
For years, Congressman Cuellar has helped secure millions of dollars for cattle health in areas like Starr, Hidalgo, Zapata, and Webb Counties in South Texas. In the fiscal year 2018 and 2019 Appropriations bills, the congressman secured $96.5 million for cattle health, which included $6 million specifically for fever ticks.
Congressman Cuellar said, “Our cattle producers contribute greatly to the economy and way of life in South Texas. They deserve our assistance in the face of threats to their vitality. The FSA Emergency Live Stock Assistance Program is critical in helping control the tick population, stopping the spread of their disease and keeping livestock healthy.
I would like to thank FSA District Director Benny Cano and other representatives from FSA for helping put together these informational sessions throughout the district. I would also like to thank the South Texans’ Property Rights Association, Border Patrol Ranch, Landowner liaisons, the Chambers of Commerce, elected officials and other organizations in the district for their coordination in planning and promoting these events. Additionally, I thank the Texas Farm Bureau and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association for joining to combat this pest. These sessions are a critical step in providing our ranchers and cattle owners with the information and resources they need in order to eradicate the cattle fever tick.”