US Agriculture Dept. official tours Arkansas

OSCEOLA, Ark. (AP) - The deputy U.S. secretary of agriculture has wound up a three-state tour with a visit to northeast Arkansas.

Deputy Secretary Karis Gutter told farmers in Osceola that he's confident Congress will approve a bill providing disaster relief to farmers - but said "the question is when."

Gutter came to Arkansas on the last leg of a tour that included stops in Kentucky and Tennessee following floods in 2011 and drought this year.

The Jonesboro Sun reports ( ) that Gutter told farmers and ranchers during Friday's meeting several Department of Agriculture officials are touring the nation to survey the damage.

Gutter said the findings will be presented to Agriculture Department Secretary Tom Vilsack and that Vilsack will then go to Congress in hopes of securing financial assistance for farmers and ranchers.

Information from: The Jonesboro Sun,

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