Conn. Gov. Notes Federal Disaster Designation to Assist Farm Operators

April 8, 2005

Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced that U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has agreed to her request for a federal disaster designation which will provide relief for Connecticut farm operators who experienced losses due to abnormally wet weather last year.

“I’m pleased the Department of Agriculture has responded favorably to my request,” Gov. Rell said. “We had some very rainy months last year that really took their toll on Connecticut farmers’ products. This ruling allows farm operators across Connecticut to be eligible for low-interest emergency loans. This will be a real shot in the arm for farmers who really need it.”

On Jan. 28, Gov. Rell wrote to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Johanns. The Governor’s letter informed Johanns of the unusually wet weather that the state experienced from July 1 through Oct. 31, 2004 and urged that a disaster designation be issued.

“Connecticut agriculture is a $1 billion a year industry that employs thousands of state residents,” Gov. Rell said. “We will seize every opportunity to assist this crucial business sector, whether it’s fighting for federal assistance, providing state dollars for capital enhancements to farms, or protecting farms from development.”

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