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Wisconsin experienced one of the most severe droughts in the state’s recorded history in 1988. All 72 Wisconsin counties were inspected and declared drought disaster areas bu then US Agriculture Secretary Richard Lyng.

But before this declaration, Governor Tommy Thompson charged WHEDA with the task of creating a product to help farmers affected by the drought. WHEDA answered within days, and developed the Drought Assistance Program. The program, which was quickly approved by the state legislature, provided affected farmers with three-year, low-interest rate loans to purchase feed for animals and provide irrigation for their dry fields.