Press Release

Gillibrand Calls for Usda Disaster Declaration to Help North Country Farms Damaged by Flooding

Apr 16, 2014

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue an agriculture disaster declaration to send relief to farms in Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties where severe flooding is destroying roads and bridges, isolating local dairy farms, and damaging feed, bunker silos and wells. The ongoing flooding also threatens to submerge farmland and poses a significant threat to livestock.

“When New York’s farmers struggle, our entire economy struggles,” Senator Gillibrand said. “Heavy flooding is wiping out roads and bridges, isolating farms, destroying resources that keep them operating, and threatening to leave many farms under water. We need these federal resources on the ground without delay so we can help our farms recover and support our economy.”

Senator Gillibrand is calling for the swift disaster declaration for Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties, and could extend to additional counties as damage continues to be reported by local farm agencies.  

A secretarial disaster declaration can release federal resources that provide a range of assistance to farmers, including low-interest emergency loans, technical assistance to repair damages and help to replenish lost livestock.

Senator Gillibrand’s complete letter to Secretary Vilsack is attached.