Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has received notification from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack that New London and Windham counties have been designed by the federal agency as primary natural disaster areas due to the recent drought. Additionally, Hartford, Middlesex, and Tolland counties have been designated as contiguous counties under the declaration.
The designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguous to such primary counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for emergency loans. FSA 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 of the operator.
“This ongoing drought has certainly caused a large number of production losses for Connecticut farmers, and this federal designation will provide much needed financial assistance for our agricultural industry and the jobs it supports,” Governor Lamont said. “I appreciate Secretary Vilsack and the Biden administration for approving this designation. I strongly encourage any farmers in these designated counties who experienced losses to reach out to their local Farm Service Agency office for information on assistance that may be available.”
“Connecticut’s agricultural producers continue to face unpredictable weather patterns from flooding to drought,” Connecticut Agricultural Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt said. “We encourage all producers to report losses to their local FSA office, as that data is critical to receiving disaster declarations, which provide the necessary resources to ensure the viability of agriculture in our state for seasons to come.”
Farmers interested in applying for the assistance must contact their local Farm Service Agency office.