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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                      (San Francisco, California)
For Immediate Release                                  February 26, 1999


Today I am sending to the Congress requests for a $152 million emergency supplemental appropriation to help America's farmers and ranchers. Many farm communities continue to undergo very hard times despite the disaster aid we worked so hard to provide last year. Economic turmoil in Pacific Rim countries and around the world continue to make it difficult for American farmers and ranchers to export their goods overseas. More and more farmers and ranchers need loans to see them through to better times, and our Department of Agriculture simply is running out of available credit.

The Agriculture Department's staff around the country needs immediate help to handle the increased workload brought on by providing emergency services. I hope that Congress will join me in helping our farmers and ranchers during this difficult time, particularly when the rest of the country is blessed with unparalleled prosperity. I urge them to approve this request by the end of March.