AUSTIN – On the heels of the latest natural disaster, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is calling on his fellow Texans to donate to the State of Texas Agriculture Relief Fund and lend a helping hand to our neighbors impacted by the devastating wildfires in the Panhandle.

The STAR Fund was created to collect monetary contributions from private individuals and businesses to assist farmers and ranchers in responding to and recovering from natural disasters like the latest series of wildfires that burned a trail of destruction across the Panhandle this month. Funds may be used to rebuild perimeter fences, pay for livestock burial costs, restore operations and assist with other agricultural relief efforts — basically anything that isn’t covered under federal farm assistance or insurance programs.

“Many of our fellow Texans are in need of a helping hand, and all Texans have an opportunity to really help people by donating to the STAR Fund,” Commissioner Miller said. “Farmers and ranchers are trying to rebuild fences, clean up their properties and pick up the pieces after this devastating tragedy. That’s where the STAR Fund comes into play and why it was created — to help folks out with things federal money and insurance won’t cover.”

As farmers and ranchers begin to assess the damage and rebuild their lives, Commissioner Miller is encouraging them to keep an eye out on the opportunity to apply for assistance through the STAR Fund. If a producer lives in a county where a disaster declaration has been issued by the governor, they have 60 days from the date of the governor’s proclamation to turn in an application.

“Every day, we depend on Texas farmers and ranchers to provide us with food and clothing, and now is the time for Texas producers to lean on us,” Commissioner Miller said. “This is not a handout, but rather it’s a helping hand. I hope producers who need a little help will apply for assistance. That’s what this money is there for.”

Farmers and ranchers can apply for assistance through the STAR Fund by contacting TDA’s Grants Office at Grants@TexasAgriculture.gov or by visiting the STAR Fund web page.