Assistance to help local farmers affected by spring flooding
(Madison County, NY – Feb. 2012) Congressman Bill Owens announced that Madison County has been included in the list of areas eligible for benefits as the region continues to recover from damage caused by Tropical Storm Lee. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated Chenango County as a primary natural disaster area and Madison County – among others – a contiguous disaster county.
“This is good news for family farms in communities that were affected by severe weather last year, and I encourage all those who qualify for this assistance to apply. There are still homeowners and small business operators that need additional assistance from the federal government, and I plan to continue my work with state and local emergency management officials to ensure that all of those affected receive the assistance they need to return to normal,” Owens said.
Severe weather from Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Irene affected areas across New York last year. Since then, Owens has toured damaged sites with community leaders and FEMA officials, written to President Obama to urge him to grant Governor Cuomo’s request for an official disaster declaration, and urged the Governor to apply for a physical disaster declaration by the SBA to enable qualified homeowners and businesses to receive low-interest loans from the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program.
The designation makes farm operators in both primary and contiguous counties eligible to be considered for assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE). The SURE program compensates qualifying producers for a portion of losses that are not eligible for an indemnity payment under a crop insurance policy.
Local FSA offices can provide affected farmers with further information on eligibility requirements and how best to apply for assistance: Madison County FSA Office, 6503 Wes Road, Hamilton, 824-9076.