La. Farmers, Ranchers Encouraged to Apply for Disaster Assistance

January 18, 2006

Disaster assistance may be available to Louisiana farmers and ranchers who have suffered damage or incurred losses as a result of Hurricane Katrina, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (LOEP).

“We understand the needs of rural Louisianans,” said Mark Smith, public information officer for LOEP. “Farmers and ranchers are a strong part of many communities. We want to make sure they’re aware of the help available to rebuild their operations and recover.”

Farmers and ranchers who have suffered disaster related losses to production, as well as property losses are urged to contact FEMA’s toll-free registration line at 800-621-FEMA (TTY 800-462-7585) to apply for assistance. The toll-free line is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice.

For those who are eligible, low-interest emergency loans are available for production loss to crops and physical losses including livestock and farm buildings. One hundred percent cost sharing to rehabilitate farmland by removing debris, grading, shaping and re-leveling, restoring fences and other conservation measures may also be available.

For additional information about Emergency Loan Assistance, Emergency Conservation Program, and Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Loans and “on-farm” grain storage, farmers and ranchers are urged to contact their local U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Farm Service Agency (FSA) representatives as soon as possible for emergency assistance.

More information can also be found at: and the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline: 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854; for the hearing or speech impaired (TTY) 1-800-256-7072.

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