Butch Calhoun, Arkansas’s Secretary of Agriculture, will speak at 10 a.m. Friday at Simon Dairy, 259 Highway 64 East, to explain Gov. Mike Beebe’s Disaster Fund for drought assistance programs for livestock producers.

Beebe has set aside $2 million from the Governor’s Disaster Fund to help Arkansas ranchers during the recent persistent drought conditions.

The Livestock Assistance Grant Program will help cattle, sheep and goat producers, many of whom are finding it difficult to locate, grow or afford hay and other forage for their animals.

The program will be administered by the Arkansas Agriculture Department, and payments will be made on a per-head basis for qualifying livestock producers who apply in the next two weeks.

Applications must be filed online, hand-delivered or postmarked by Aug. 29.

(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at becky.harris@thecabin.net and 505-1234.)