- Associated Press - Friday, September 9, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Federal agriculture officials have declared that farmers and ranchers in certain parts of Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts are now eligible for aid due to a drought affecting the region.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture this week declared Providence County in Rhode Island a primary natural disaster area because of the drought. Farmers and ranchers in surrounding counties also qualify for assistance, including Rhode Island’s Bristol and Kent counties, Bristol, Norfolk and Worcester counties in Massachusetts and Windham County in Connecticut. Several other counties previously qualified for aid.

They will be eligible for low interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says their hearts go out to the farmers and ranchers affected by the drought.

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