01.05.09

SCHUMER ANNOUNCES YATES AND ONTARIO COUNTIES ELIGIBLE FOR USDA FEDERAL DISASTER AID

Farmers in Rochester-Finger Lakes Area Will Be Eligible For Emergency Aid Following Multiple Natural Disasters in 2008

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Yates and Ontario Counties as Secretarial disaster areas due to multiple disasters that occurred in 2008. All counties will now be eligible for Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loan assistance to help cover losses in the area.

"Farmers in Yates and Ontario who have had a particularly difficult year due to severe weather conditions will benefit greatly from this funding," said Schumer. "Farmers are the backbone of our economy and when they are hurting, the whole state feels the impact of the damage. No one can account for natural disasters but this assistance will go a long way towards helping our farmers recover from the devastating losses sustained throughout the year."

As of May 2008, 19 New York Counties, including two in the RochesterFinger Lakes area, experienced extreme weather patterns characterized by excessive rain, high winds, flooding, flash flooding, hail and lightening leading to significant production losses. Due to this weather pattern, the USDA designated Yates and Ontario Counties as Secretarial disaster areas.

This designation makes farm operators in both primary and contiguous counties eligible to be considered for lowinterest Emergency loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA). These emergency loans are designed to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters, or quarantine. Emergency loan funds may be used to restore or replace essential property; pay all or part of production costs associated with the disaster year; pay essential family living expenses; reorganize the farming operation; and refinance certain debts.

Local FSA offices can provide affected farmers with further information. FSA service centers can be located at http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=ny&agency=fsa



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