Representative Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25) announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated Cayuga, Monroe, Onondaga, and Wayne Counties in New York as natural disaster areas due to agriculture losses caused by freezes in March and April.
Immediately upon learning of the damage, Buerkle took action to aid the farmers in her district. She sent a letter to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo requesting that he call upon Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, to declare the affected counties as disaster areas.
In addition, Buerkle wrote her own letter to Secretary Vilsack to ensure that he was aware of the damage to specialty crops due to the weather related events. Buerkle also requested that his department investigate the current difficulties faced by our farmers and to clarify reimbursement policy guidelines.
"I applaud Secretary Vilsack and Governor Cuomo for their swift action to assist Upstate New York farmers. Agriculture is essential to the economic viability of Upstate New York and New York State overall; when our farmers hurt, our whole region hurts.
"The recent freezes have destroyed substantial portions of apple, peach, pear, grape, and plum crops across Upstate New York. I want to assure the farmers in my district that I will continue to do all that I can to aid them during this difficult time."