Ohio Gov. Bob Taft recently expressed appreciation for U.S Department of Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman’s designation of 28 Ohio counties as natural disasters areas, due to flooding from remnants of the hurricanes in the southern U.S. last September.
“Due to extreme conditions this past fall, Ohio farmers suffered agricultural crop production losses, physical losses and livestock losses,” Taft said. “I’m pleased that the USDA has answered our call to provide disaster assistance to farmers in those counties who are in great need.”
The secretarial designations, requested by Taft in a letter to Veneman dated Nov. 10, 2004, will make farmers eligible for federal disaster assistance, most likely in the form of emergency low-interest loans, in the following counties:
Adams, Athens, Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Coshocton, Fairfield, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Licking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Tuscarawas, Vinton and Washington. The list includes primary designated counties and their contiguous counties, both eligible for the same emergency relief.
This designation makes farm operation in both primary and contiguous counties eligible to be considered for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. FSA will consider each application on its own merit by taking into account the extent of the losses, security available and payment ability.
Those affected by the flooding have nine months from the approved date of the Secretary’s declaration, Jan. 10, 2005, to apply for disaster assistance. Farmers wanting to apply for disaster assistance can do so by calling their local farm service agency service center.
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