Disaster Designation Clears Way For Low-Interest Loans
Posted: October 12, 2012
HARRISONBURG — After a months-long application process, Page, Rockingham and Shenandoah counties have received federal disaster designations relating to the June derecho.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture named Page County as one of three primary natural disaster areas due to losses caused by severe windstorm on June 29.
Rockingham and Shenandoah counties were named contiguous disaster areas because they border a primary disaster area.
Farmers in all three counties are eligible for low-interest emergency loans. The current interest rate for such loans is 2.125 percent, according to Jeanette Smith, county executive director of the Strasburg branch of the Farm Service Agency, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
While the Harrisonburg FSA office handles Page and Rockingham counties, Strasburg-based extension agent Bobby Clark worked to secure the designation for Page County.
He started with the Page County Board of Supervisors, which has to approve the designation before it goes to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office. Once the governor’s office approves it, the request goes to the U.S. agriculture secretary.
Clark estimated that the storm caused nearly $3.7 million worth of damage throughout the three counties. That estimate took into account everything from tree and limb removal and fence repair to crop and livestock loss to farm building damage.
Poultry accounted for the biggest loss in Page County, with almost 150,000 chickens and turkeys killed in the storm and ensuing heat.
Farmers in eligible counties have eight months to apply for emergency loan assistance.
To apply, farmers should their local FSA office. The Harrisonburg office can be reached at (540) 433-9126, and the Strasburg office can be reached at (540) 465-2424.
Contact Candace Sipos at 574-6275 or email@example.com