Earlier this week Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin announced state grants to farmers still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Irene. The hurricane, which struck the east coast last month, did considerable damage to agricultural producers across the Atlantic seaboard. Farmers from North Carolina to Vermont are still struggling to undo the damage done by the storm.
In order to help state farmers, Shumlin’s administration has set aside desperately needed money to help farmers repair their farms and pay their bills. The money comes from the state’s Farm Disaster Fund, which is managed the non-profit Vermont Community Foundation. Funding is being distributed in $10,000 grants to farmers in need.
Schumlin stressed the necessity of the Disaster Fund and urged Vermonters to donate money to the fund to help their friends and neighbors. In addition, he stressed that these funds were grants rather than loans, stressing that farmers did not need additional debt at this time.
While the funding is a blessing for many struggling farmers who still need to make major infrastructural repairs, many say that $10,000 will not be enough to cover their losses. A Berlin, Vermont farmer stated that he needed at least $65,000 to make it through the year. According to the Community Foundation, a conservative estimate of the damage from Irene could reach $10 million statewide.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer