Farmstay U.S. Blog

Created for and by travelers and the farmers, these posts will cover a variety of topics related to farm stays in the U.S.

USDA Aid Available to Farm Stay Farms Hit by Hurricane Irene

Guest post by Kevin Pearia, USDA Loan Program.

Bradley Farm NY hurricane damageWhile the damage done by Hurricane Irene may not resonate with the U.S. like the damage and destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, it has still left lasting impacts on many of our fellow farms in the Farm Stay circle. Hurricane Irene was the first hurricane to make landfall on certain states in over a hundred years, and left many communities under feet of water and battered from wind damage.

However, all hope is not lost for the farms, ranches, and rural communities in the Northeast. The USDA has recently suggested that it will be providing assistance to those in Presidentially deemed disaster areas.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have suffered losses caused by this massive storm," stated Tom Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary. "USDA is ready to provide food, emergency assistance and other resources to the affected areas. We continue to closely coordinate with many partners to meet the immediate and plan for the long-term needs of those affected by Hurricane Irene."

Bradley Farm NY hurricane damage 2What Types of Assistance are Available?

The USDA is currently providing a wide variety of assistance, and each are offered through different programs within the department. The basic types of assistance being offered include:

  • Food Assistance
  • Housing Assistance
  • Farmer and Rancher Assistance
  • Community Assistance
  • Business Assistance
  • Utility Assistance

Who Do We Contact for Assistance?

Although there are several types of aid offered and many are being offered through different departments, there are three key departments who should be contacted first for assistance:

  • USDA Farm Service Agency Service Center for crop and livestock loss
  • Rural Development Office for housing, business, or community assistance
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service for debris removal

Who is Eligible?

As long as you are in an area deemed a disaster area by the President of the United States you should be eligible for assistance. Call your local USDA Farm Service Agency Service Center for further details concerning eligibility.

We hope that farms damaged by Hurricane Irene will be able to fully recover so that they can join our network once again, and keep bringing the joy of the farm into the lives of others.

Photos: Bradley Farm in New Palz, NY (not a farm stay but a farmer's dream, nonetheless, that was severely damaged by the storm!)

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