Butler’s Work To Release USDA Farm Assistance Funds Pays Off

Assemblyman advocated for federal assistance for New York agricultural losses
June 8, 2012

Assemblyman Marc W. Butler (R,C,I-Newport), after working closely with his legislative colleagues and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, today hailed the recent USDA decision to officially declare 32 New York State counties as disaster areas due to frost damage early this year. It is estimated that three million acres of farmland have been damaged, with at least 30 percent losses, while many others experienced more.

“New York farmers were hit hard with devastating crop-damaging temperatures, which makes the USDA’s recent announcement tremendously important in helping our family farms get back on their feet,” said Butler. “I’m pleased to have been able to speak up on behalf of the hardworking farmers in my district, and I know that they’ll come back stronger than ever before.”

Butler and his legislative colleagues recently petitioned the governor to lobby for the designation from the USDA. The designation grants New York’s agricultural community access to federal funding for recovery and renewal.

Assemblyman Butler’s district was hit especially hard by the low spring temperatures. Fulton County has been recognized as a major area affected by the March 1 freeze and frost episodes. Herkimer and Otsego counties also were named as areas in need of assistance. Surrounding areas like Hamilton and St. Lawrence counties also were affected and now qualify for help. Farm operations in these areas may apply for federal agricultural disaster recovery assistance, which includes funding, low interest loans and help rebuilding farm businesses.

Farmers in need of assistance may call the following local Farm Service Agencies:

Fulton County 518-853-4031
Herkimer County 315-866-2520
Otsego County 607-547-8131