Senator Marshall Secures Big Win For Ranchers Who Suffered Losses In Winter Wildfires

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D., commends USDA for announcing changes to the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) that provide additional assistance to farmers who suffer wildfire losses of winter stored forage during the winter months. 

Previously, ELAP only covered the normal grazing season in Kansas. This prevented ranchers who left pastureland idle during the normal grazing season from recovering losses to grass if a disaster struck in the winter. This exact scenario happened in December of 2021 when wildfires ripped through an area near Paradise, Kansas burning an estimated 163,000 acres, including winter pasture being grazed. USDA confirmed with Senator Marshall that this change will retroactively help our Kansas producers from the 4-county (Ellis, Rooks, Osborne, Russell) fire that December. 

“Things move slow in Washington D.C., but my team and I have been working tirelessly for two years now on a solution with USDA,” said Senator Marshall. “Our hard work paid off and I’m happy to announce that USDA will be retroactively helping those ranchers who lost winter stored forage in the devastating wildfire.”


In February of 2022, Senator Marshall led a letter urging USDA to provide robust assistance following the December wildfires.

In 2023, Senator Marshall worked with Senator Hoeven and Senator Tester to introduce legislation to ensure USDA included winter stored forage as a part of the ELAP program.

The USDA agreed to update the ELAP program this year after negotiations with Senator Marshall.