U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and Congressman Lincoln Davis have written Secretary of Agriculture Edward Schafer urging him to approve the Governor’s request for an agricultural disaster declaration in Giles, Lawrence, and Warren Counties. The request comes after the April 11th tornadoes caused extensive damage to farms. A designation from USDA would allow qualifying farmers to apply for low-interest emergency loans.
The lawmakers letter to Secretary Schafer said that across these three counties, farmers have reported damage to barns and other farm structures, lost equipment and livestock, downed fences and trees, scattered debris, and damage to pastures and croplands the letter to Secretary Schafer states. These are three strong agricultural counties and farmers in these areas need assistance as quickly as possible in order to make the most of the growing season that is already upon them.
“Tennessee farmers have had a rough go of it lately, and it’s important that we help them as much as we can,” said Alexander. “I hope that USDA will grant swift approval to the governor’s request so that farmers in these tornado-ravaged counties can start getting the help they need to get back on their feet.”
“Tornadoes have caused extensive damage to homes, businesses and farmland across our state this year,” Senator Corker said. “Emergency assistance loans will provide qualifying farmers in Giles, Lawrence and Warren counties with access to funds so they can begin restoring their damaged property and return to normal production. I'm proud to join my Tennessee congressional colleagues in supporting Governor Bredesen's request and I hope Secretary Schafer will approve it as soon as possible.”
“Farmers, along with hundreds of others, have endured great losses the past year, with this most recent disaster coming at the worst possible time,” said Congressman Davis, Tennessee's sole member on the House Agriculture Committee. “We are asking the Agriculture Department to help our family farms during this critical time by providing low-interest loans.”
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