U.S. Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) joins Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and other Members of the Georgia delegation this week penned a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. They urge the Secretary to declare twenty-two drought-stricken counties in Georgia disaster areas, as requested by Gov. Nathan Deal. As a result of an extreme winter, many parts of Georgia continue to suffer from crop losses. The USDA's Secretarial Disaster Designation would allow Georgia farmers to apply for emergency loans and other benefits to ease the burden from their losses.
The text of the letter is below and attached:
The Honorable Tom Vilsack
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20250
Dear Mr. Secretary:
Over the past several months numerous counties in Georgia have experienced extreme weather conditions. Georgia's agricultural producers continue to experience drought conditions that have kept many of them from putting any seed into the ground and have left our livestock producers struggling to secure adequate feedstocks.
Although parts of Georgia have received rainfall over the past few weeks, as much as 54 percent of the State has been documented as suffering from Extreme Drought conditions by the U.S. Drought Monitor as of June 2, 2011.
On June 3, 2011, the Honorable Nathan Deal, Governor of Georgia, sent a letter with a list of eligible counties as recommended by the Georgia USDA State Emergency Board. Therefore, we would encourage you to review and designate any eligible counties as Secretarial Disaster Areas as expeditiously as possible. It is vitally important that eligible producers suffering from disaster are able to utilize any federal assistance that may help offset further losses this early in the 2011 crop year.
We look forward to working with you throughout this process to ensure that eligible producers suffering from disaster are able to utilize any available federal assistance in a timely manner.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss
Sen. Johnny Isakson
Rep. Jack Kingston
Rep. Sanford Bishop
Rep. Austin Scott
Rep. John Barrow