Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and other key members of the U.S. Department of Agriculture are beginning a cross-country tour to commit the federal government to support farmers suffering from one of the worst droughts in twenty years.
For the past several months, farmers have borne the brunt of unusually warm weather. Mild winters across the country have given way to severe drought and record-breaking temperatures. The lack of moisture in particular has been devastating to farmers from California to Indiana, withering crops, stunting livestock, and undermining the agriculture sector as a whole.
In a show of support, USDA officials have begun a cross-country tour, hoping to boost farmers’ morale while simultaneously offering useful and practical advice about how best to apply for federal disaster aid.
“Our hearts go out to all of those affected by this year’s disasters, from frost and freezes to fires and drought,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Without a robust package of disaster assistance programs available to struggling farmers and ranchers, it is important that USDA officials visit rural communities and talk with producers not only about their current options but also about the need for proper planning through these difficult times. And we remind Congress that as agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation’s economy, it is crucial that producers have a safety net in times of need, and that USDA has the tools to act quickly and deliver assistance when producers need it most.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer