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Farmers and Ranchers Gather at Disaster Assistance Workshop in Raywood

USDA NRCS Answers the Call for Assistance

By Beverly Moseley, NRCS State Public Affairs Director

Three weeks have passed since Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Texas and dumped a historic 51 inches of rain in some areas. For the farmers and ranchers who attended the recent Disaster Assistance Workshop hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Raywood, the hurricane was still at the forefront of their minds and affecting their daily activities.

The fact that more than 80 people showed up on a Saturday morning at the Raywood Livestock Market to learn about available disaster relief spoke to the urgency of recovery needs by agriculture producers across the impacted region. Thirty-nine coastal Texas counties have received disaster declaration.

“Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Texas AgrAbility and USDA Food Production and Conservation agencies like NRCS, FSA and RMA welcomed the opportunity to travel to Raywood and provide these producers with the information they sought,” said Salvador Salinas, Texas state conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). “We were here for the state’s farmers and ranchers during past hurricanes such as Ike and we are here to help assist with recovery efforts from Harvey.”

Phillip Stewart, NRCS resource team leader in Liberty, provided attendees information on available disaster assistance through NRCS programs. For instance, through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Texas NRCS designated two special sign up periods in an effort to quickly respond to post hurricane disaster needs such as livestock carcass disposal and problems caused by flooding, rain and high winds.

Texas Farm Bureau’s representative shared information on the organizations available disaster relief programs and the Texas Department of Agriculture shared information on their STAR Fund. The USDA Farm Service Agency shared information on the agency’s loan and financial assistance programs available in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Each speaker encouraged attendees to visit their agency or organization’s website to download applications and learn deadlines.

For more information call 1-888-489-8732, contact your local USDA Service Center or visit www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov.

Farmers and Ranchers Gather at Disaster Assistance Workshop in Raywood , Beverly Moseley, USDA-NRCS Public Affairs Director (2017, September)