State Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) vice chair of the House Agriculture Committee, is informing residents statewide of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s recent decision to declare 31 Michigan counties as primary natural disaster areas.
On Oct. 14, the USDA declared the five counties of the 105th House District – Antrim, Charlevoix, Montmorency, Oscoda and Otsego among the primary natural disaster areas included among the 31 counties designated across the state of Michigan.
The USDA cites that the damage and losses incurred due to extreme temperatures has adversely affected the economic longevity of local farmers and ranchers.
The state’s substantial decrease in agricultural production can be directly attributed to bouts of excessive snow, freeze, and frost and prolonged periods of extremely cold temperatures from the months of January through June.
“Record low temperatures and unpredictable weather in Michigan have yielded catastrophic effects on the livelihood of our Michigan farmers and ranchers,” Rep. Cole said.
“I am pleased that the USDA has recognized Michigan as one the top agricultural producers in the nation. This decision to extend natural disaster relief to these 31 counties across the state is positive news for our state’s producers.”
All qualified farm operators residing within the designated disaster regions are eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA).
Additional federal assistance may be available through a variety of FSA programs and resources, but may not require a declaration of disaster.
For more information contact Rep. Cole toll-free at 855-DIST-105 or visit www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/index.