Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has received notice from U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that an agriculture disaster declaration has been approved for portions of Connecticut due to the impact of the remnants of Hurricane Ida on the state in early September.
The declaration will make farmers in six of the state’s counties – including Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, Tolland, and Windham – eligible to be considered for certain disaster assistance from the Farm Service Agency to cover production losses from the storm, such as emergency loans, provided that eligibility requirements are met. While Middlesex and New London are named as primary counties in the declaration, the other four are named as contiguous disaster counties, making farmers in all six of those named counties eligible for assistance.
“We’ve had brutal weather this year that has had a significant impact on farm production,” Governor Lamont said. “Farm owners are small business owners, and not only do they provide jobs for many workers but they grow the food on which all of us depend. I encourage any farmers in these counties who experienced damage to reach out to the Farm Service Agency for information on assistance that may be available. I appreciate President Biden and Secretary Vilsack for approving this designation in Connecticut.”
“The erratic weather patterns of this past growing season highlight the continued challenges of climate change on agricultural production in our state,” Connecticut Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt said. “We strongly encourage producers to contact their local Farm Service Agency office for assistance and resources available through this disaster declaration.”
Farmers will have eight months from the date of the secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. The Farm Service Agency considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm and the security and repayment ability of the operator. Farmers interested in applying for the assistance must contact their local Farm Service Agency office.
In August, a similar federal agriculture disaster declaration was approved for Connecticut as a result of the damages caused by Tropical Storm Elsa, which impacted the state in early July. That particular declaration applies to all eight of the state’s counties, and farmers statewide are still eligible to apply for assistance under it.