Senate District 18
John Eklund
Press Release: Eklund Commends USDA Secretary For Decision To Make Disaster Relief Available For Area Farmers
September 12, 2017
COLUMBUS - State Senator John Eklund (R-Munson Township) issued the following statement today in response to the declaration issued by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, which assigns Geauga and Lake counties as primary disaster designation areas following severe freeze and frost damages that occurred May 7 through May 15, 2017:

"News of the USDA disaster designation should ease some of the anxieties area farmers experienced after the late-season frost devastated so much of their crop production in May. This assistance will alleviate financial uncertainty and help to ensure that farmers in Geauga and Lake counties are able to return to their fields for next year's planting season. I commend Secretary Perdue for making this declaration a priority for his new administration so our local farmers can begin to recover from these damages."

A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties as well as those counties contiguous to such primary counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Services Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met. Assistance includes FSA emergency loans. 

Farmers in eligible counties will have 8 months from the date of the Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm and the security and repayment ability of the operator. 

The declaration assigns Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula counties in Ohio as primary disaster designation areas. Farmers in Cuyahoga, Portage and Trumbull counties have also been assigned as contiguous areas, making them eligible for certain assistance. 

Click here to read the declaration letter from Secretary Perdue to Ohio Governor John Kasich, received Monday, September 11, 2017.
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