Ohio Gov. Commends USDA Sec. for Designating Portions of State Natural Disaster Areas

September 23, 2005

Ohio Gov. Bob Taft has expressed his appreciation for U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns’s designation of 72 Ohio counties as natural disaster areas due to losses caused by extreme weather conditions occurring since May 25, 2005.

“Ohio farmers have had a tough hit this summer,” Taft said. “I’m pleased that the USDA is helping to provide disaster assistance to farmers in those counties who are in great need due to agricultural and livestock losses.”

On Aug. 31, Taft wrote to Secretary Johanns requesting the designation so that Ohio farmers would be eligible for federal disaster assistance, most likely in the form of emergency low-interest loans.

The following counties received natural disaster designation:

Ashland, Ashtabula, Athens, Auglaize, Belmont, Brown, Butler, Carroll, Champaign, Clermont, Clinton, Columbiana, Coshocton, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Darke, Defiance, Erie, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Gallia, Geauga, Guernsey, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Highland, Hocking, Huron, Jackson, Knox, Lake, Lawrence, Licking, Logan, Lorain, Lucas, Madison, Mahoning, Medina, Meigs, Mercer, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Ottawa, Paulding, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Preble, Putnam, Richland, Ross, Sandusky, Scioto, Seneca, Shelby, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Union, Van Wert, Vinton, Warren, Washington, and Wyandot.

Additional areas of the State are also eligible for emergency relief because they are contiguous counties.

These include the following counties:

Adams, Allen, Clark, Delaware, Greene, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Marion, Morrow, Portage, Stark, Summit, Wayne, Williams, and Wood.

This designation makes farm operations 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 drought have eight months from the approved date of the Secretary’s declaration, Sept. 20, 2005, to apply for disaster assistance.

Farmers wanting to apply for disaster assistance can do so by calling or visiting their local farm service agency service center.

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