WASHINGTON, D.C. – New federal assistance is available for Ohio agricultural producers in 22 northeastern and southern Ohio counties who experienced crop or production loss due to a recent freeze. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Ashtabula, Geauga, Jackson, Lake, Lorain, Portage, and Summit Counties as primary natural disaster counties after they experienced freezing weather conditions between January 2, 2014 and April 17, 2014. The USDA has also designated Ashland, Cuyahoga, Erie, Gallia, Huron, Lawrence, Mahoning, Medina, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Stark, Trumbull, Vinton, and Wayne Counties as contiguous disaster counties.
“Ohio producers whose livelihoods are threatened by no fault of their own rely on the FSA’s emergency loan program to manage risk on their farms and continue to provide a reliable food supply for Ohio and the world,” said Brown. “This federal assistance will help them rebuild and get back on their feet.”
With this disaster designation, primary and contiguous counties are eligible to be considered for assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), including emergency loans. Eligible farmers have eight months from the date of the official disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans and can receive guidance in applying for these loans from their local FSA office.
Brown is the first Ohioan to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in more than 40 years. In 2014, he was part of the Senate Farm Bill Conference Committee that successfully negotiated a five-year farm bill that had been stalled for more than three years.