ST. PAUL, MN – Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated Rock County, Minnesota, as a primary natural disaster area. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack made the declaration in a letter to Governor Mark Dayton this morning, noting that based on the Department’s Loss Assessment Report, recent flooding caused “sufficient production losses to warrant a Secretarial natural disaster declaration.”
Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson today thanked Secretary Vilsack, and pledged the state’s continued support to Rock County communities and farmers affected by this summer’s widespread flooding.
“This federal assistance is urgently needed, and greatly appreciated,” said Commissioner Frederickson. “I thank Secretary Vilsack for his quick action on this matter. Working with the federal government, we will continue doing everything possible to help Minnesotans return their lives, farms, and communities to normalcy after this summer’s flooding.”
A Secretarial disaster 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 Rock County have 8 months from the date of a Secretarial disaster 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 ability of the operator.
Local FSA offices can provide affected farmers with additional information.