Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) applauded today's announcement that the Department of Agriculture was declaring agricultural disasters in 23 Wisconsin counties. The disaster declaration allows farmers in the designated areas to apply for emergency loans to help cover losses incurred due to this summer's drought.
Baldwin had led the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation in sending a letter last week to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack urging him to immediately approve Governor Walker's request for agricultural disaster relief for Adams, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jefferson, Kenosha, Lafayette, Marquette, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties.
"I'm very pleased that Secretary Vilsack took this action so soon after receiving the delegation's request," said Baldwin. "It's imperative that the federal government partner with state and local agencies to support Wisconsin farmers who are suffering the effects of this prolonged drought. I will continue to use every tool available to help prevent further loss of crops, cattle, and income for our farm families," Baldwin said.
Baldwin said Congress must work to pass a farm bill before the end of September when the current bill expires. "Partisan politics must yield to the urgent need for action on the farm bill. I call on the House leadership to bring this legislation to the floor before the August recess. Any delay further threatens our farms, our food supply, and our families," she said.
Besides the designated 23 primary counties, benefits are also available for the contiguous counties of Calumet, Juneau, Portage, Sheboygan, Vernon, Waushara, Winnebago and Wood, as well as some counties in Illinois.