Cortland is one of 43 Upstate New York counties approved last week for natural disaster designations by the USDA, allowing them access to key federal assistance dollars for storm damage sustained during last year’s farming season.
Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand made that announcement Friday (January 31), after those designations were made official by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
Municipalities across the region reported millions of dollars in damages resulting from an extensive period of heavy rains and severe flooding last year.
“After weathering a brutal farming season last year, the USDA’s disaster designation will provide much needed assistance to farmers and growers throughout Upstate New York,” said Senator Schumer. “From corner to corner of the state, I have seen firsthand the aftermath of last year’s severe rain and flooding. Thankfully, this disaster declaration means our Upstate farmers and growers will have access to critical emergency loans and more, at a time when they need it the most.”
Among the dozens of counties on the list are Cortland, Cayuga, Broome, Tompkins and Tioga (see full list below).
Farmers who live and operate within these areas can now apply for federal assistance through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to help recover their losses, provided they meet other requirements.
“I’m pleased that the USDA has approved natural disaster designations across Upstate New York for counties that suffered extensive damage due to severe weather during last year’s farming season,” said Senator Gillibrand, member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “This will allow FSA emergency loans and other assistance to flow to communities that need it. New York has a strong farming tradition, and it is past time for our farmers to get the help they need to recover. I will always do everything I can to ensure that New Yorkers have the resources to rebuild.”
Full list of counties approved for assistance below:
Primary Natural Disaster Areas
Albany, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuler, Seneca, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Washington, Wyoming, and Yates Counties
Additional Areas Eligible for Assistance
Broome, Cortland, Dutchess, Orange, St. Lawrence, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, and Wayne Counties