The Nebraska-based Center for Rural Affairs is coordinating an effort to offer financial help for family farmers in Iowa who have suffered losses during this year’s storms and floods. Denise O’Brien, of the Iowa Farm Disaster Relief Coalition, says farmers will be offered up to 500-dollars to offset household expenses so they can put more resources toward clean-up, repair and replanting.
“A lot of the farmers that we know have been impacted are the ones who are direct marketing either at Farmers’ Markets, or to institutions like schools and hospitals or who have community supported agriculture farms,” O’Brien says, “People who are growing food for people and not commodity agriculture.” O’Brien says they’re targeting a particular group of farmers.
O’Brien says, “The farmers who fall through the cracks of any type of aid, and that would be if they don’t have crop insurance, which is really hard for a lot of market farmers, and if they don’t fall under any of the commodity programs the government has.” O’Brien says some of the money comes from a 10-thousand-dollar gift from Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid concerts. Farmers can download applications from the Iowa Farm Disaster Relief Coalition’s website.
The deadline for the first round of applications is September 30th. The Center for Rural Affairs is based in Lyons. For more information, visit “iowafarmrelief.org” or call 402-687-2100.