U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today announced that federal resources are available to Maryland farmers who suffered losses from Hurricane Sandy.
"Maryland's number one industry is agriculture," Senator Mikulski said. "Our farmers and agricultural small businesses are critical to our state's economic future. Farmers across Maryland, from the Eastern Shore to Garrett County, are working to assess damage. They must know they have a government on their side. I want to ensure our farmers have access to the resources available to them to help recover and rebuild lives and businesses."
Agriculture is the state's largest commercial industry and employs approximately 350,000 people. In 2010, Maryland's 12,800 farms contributed $2 billion to the state's economy. Senator Mikulski has been coordinating with federal agencies in the wake of Hurricane Sandy to ensure Maryland farmers are able to access recovery resources.
Federal resources for Maryland farmers are available from federal agencies including the Risk Management Agency and the Farm Service Agency:
The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) promotes, supports, and regulates sound risk management solutions through federal crop insurance programs: www.rma.usda.gov
The USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) provides disaster assistance for farmers recovering from a natural disaster. Resources to help farmers deal with flooding and other damage can be found at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/stateoffapp?mystate=md&area=home&subject=landing&topic=landing
To find the USDA Service Center nearest to you, visit: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=us&agency=fsa.
Additional resources to help farmers and ranchers deal with flooding and other damage may be found at: www.usda.gov/disaster.
FSA recommends that owners and producers record all pertinent information of natural disaster consequences, including:
Documentation of the number and kind of livestock that have died, supplemented if possible by photographs or video records of ownership and losses;
Dates of death supported by birth recordings or purchase receipts;
Costs of transporting livestock to safer grounds or to move animals to new pastures;
Feed purchases if supplies or grazing pastures are destroyed; Crop records, including seed and fertilizer purchases, planting and production records;
Pictures of on-farm storage facilities that were destroyed by wind or flood waters;
and Evidence of damaged farm land.
Prior to Hurricane Sandy, Senator Mikulski led the Maryland Congressional delegation in supporting Governor O'Malley's request for a Pre-Disaster Declaration for the state. That request is available here. President Obama approved the Pre-Disaster Declaration, which means that Marylanders are eligible for federal disaster funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In declaring that a federal emergency exists in the State of Maryland, President Obama ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local efforts in areas affected by this severe weather.