Federal disaster aid OK'd for Michigan farmers

WASHINGTON, DC:  Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01)  announced Thursday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has authorized federal disaster assistance to aid farmers affected by the drought conditions throughout the State of Michigan.

“The USDA’s recent announcement is welcome news for many of Northern Michigan’s farmers.  I want to thank Governor Snyder and Secretary Vilsack for their leadership on this issue.  With drought conditions impacting farms across our state, I am hopeful this disaster assistance will help farmers make it through this difficult drought and stay in business.  My office is here to help our farmers and their families obtain the disaster relief they need,” said Dr. Benishek, a general surgeon and Iron River native.

Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on August 29, 2012 that all 83 counties in Michigan would be given primary disaster designation, thus making Michigan farmers eligible for disaster assistance through the Farm Service Agency (FSA).  The assistance is in the form of low interest federal loans.

To apply for assistance, farmers are encouraged to contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency office. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the disaster declaration (April 2013) to apply for emergency loan assistance. If farmers are having difficulty obtaining financial assistance from the USDA they may also contact Benishek’s Gaylord office at 989-448-8811.