Donated hay handed out in lottery program

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – State agriculture officials in the Northern Plains have divided up 16 semi-loads of hay donated from around the country to help drought-stricken ranchers in the region.

Nearly 1,400 ranchers from the Dakotas and Montana applied to the hay lottery program set up by North Dakota’s Agriculture Department, North Dakota State University and the Michigan-based nonprofit Ag Community Relief.

Drawings were conducted this week. Hay is going to 12 ranchers in North Dakota, two in South Dakota and two in Montana. The numbers correlate with the percentage of applications from each state.

More drawings are possible if hay donations continue to come in.