The deadline for contributing to the American Farm Bureau Federation tsunami aid fund has been extended until May 1. The fund was established to provide assistance to farm families in the Indian Ocean area affected by the tsunami disaster late last year.

In announcing the extension, the fund organizers, AFBF Women's Committee and Young Farmer and Rancher Committee, said that more than $20,000 of aid has been raised so far but they are confident considerably more will be raised.

“We are quite grateful for all the donations that have ranged from $1 to $8,000,” said Terry Gilbert, AFB Women's Committee chair. “My home state, Kentucky Farm Bureau, has surpassed my expectations already by raising over $8,000, but we recognized that giving our Farm Bureau members an extension to donate would be wise as some state fund-raising programs have not been completed.”

State Farm Bureau offices have been collecting and transferring money to the relief fund, and individuals have been mailing checks directly. Donations are tax deductible when made out to AFBFA/Tsunami Relief. Checks should be mailed to 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20024.

The money collected is being donated to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to fund projects in the tsunami-affected area. Specifically the money will be used as part of the Agricultural Relief and Rehabilitation Program which is quite active in providing seed and tools to farmers. None of the money will be used for administrative costs by the UN organization.