Designation to help U.P. farmers

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UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) — Farmers in several Upper Peninsula counties will now be able to apply for federal disaster funding.

This comes after the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated them as primary natural disaster areas due to weather conditions like flooding or extreme cold earlier this year.

Counties in the U.P. include Alger, Delta, Dickinson, Iron, Marquette, Menominee, and Schoolcraft.

“I am pleased the USDA responded to our request and I’m looking forward to the further assessment of those counties not included in this designation. This relief can’t come soon enough for our struggling farmers who endured tremendous hardship throughout this growing season,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am grateful to USDA and our Michigan delegation, especially our Senators, for the leadership they’ve taken as well to ensure our hardworking farmers receive the assistance and supports they need.”

“Michigan’s farmers were affected by everything from severe cold to historic rainfall events and early snowfall in 2019, which impacted both planting and harvest this year,” said Gary McDowell, director, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “These extraordinary weather conditions had a devastating impact on our farming and agricultural community. I appreciate the continued support of USDA, our federal delegation and the Governor for Michigan farm families.”

“This year is a humble reminder that despite the best-made plans, the weather often dictates our realities, which is frustrating because it’s simply beyond our control,” said president of Michigan Farm Bureau, Carl Bednarski. “We have been blessed, however, in a number of respects, with state and federal agencies as well as elected officials who have been exceptionally responsive to the needs of production agriculture due to weather-imposed emergencies. The many relief efforts, including the disaster declarations pursued by Gov. Whitmer, demonstrate what can be accomplished when those elected or hired to serve constituents focus on meeting the needs of their constituents.”

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