85 Ohio counties designated disaster areas

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared 85 of Ohio’s 88 counties as natural disaster areas.

“Agriculture is an essential component of Ohio’s economy and our heritage, and if our farmers and Ohio’s food industry are suffering, Ohio suffers. The federal declaration will help keep farmers on their feet and mitigate some of the damage caused by the bad weather,” said Ohio Governor John Kasich.

The disaster declaration opens the way for farmers in primary and contiguous counties who are eligible, to access drought-related federal disaster assistance, such as low-interest emergency loans through the Farm Service Agency.

Information is available at local FSA offices.

U.S. Representative Bob Latta’s response to the disaster declaration:

Congressman Latta (R – Bowling Green) applauded the designations by saying, “With one of the largest agricultural districts in the state, I had the opportunity to tour farms in northwest Ohio and witness first-hand how these natural disasters have affected the crops and the business decisions farmers are currently making for next year’s crops. Our farmers and ranchers are used to working in unpredictable and harsh conditions, but it is critical they have the risk management tools to mitigate the impacts of the harsh circumstances they are facing now due to the natural disasters.”

U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) released the following statement in response to the announcement:

“I am pleased to hear that USDA has responded to our drought conditions by providing this designation. The agricultural community my district has been struggling through the brutal weather conditions this year, which have hit our state during the worst of economic times. It is my hope that this disaster designation serves as significant aid to the families of the 18th district who have been hurt by the production losses this year.”

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown’s response:

“These new resources will provide some relief to farmers and livestock producers dealing with this year’s record drought,” Senator Sherrod Brown said. “Although USDA’s assistance will help some producers get back on their feet, passing the Senate farm bill reauthorizes critical disaster programs which expired last year and makes much-needed reforms by building on crop insurance and creating a safety net to assist farmers when prices drop or when natural disaster strikes.”

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