Washington D.C. — U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock are urging the Biden Administration to support Georgia’s agricultural industry after this year’s natural disasters.
In a letter sent to Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, Sens. Ossoff and Warnock are urging the Administration to include funding for agricultural disaster assistance in the Administration’s supplemental appropriations requests to Congress, noting the particular impact of Hurricane Idalia and the early freeze in March on Georgia’s key agricultural industries.
“This year, Georgia growers have suffered from natural disasters that have devastated crops and communities across our state. Hurricane Idalia spent more time over Georgia than over any other state, flooding vegetable fields and uprooting pecan trees. A freeze in early March destroyed an estimated 90 percent of Georgia’s peach crop,” Sens. Ossoff and Warnock wrote. “In response to these and other disaster events, we respectfully request that you include funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the Administration’s forthcoming supplemental appropriations requests.”
In September, Sens. Ossoff and Rev. Warnock surveyed storm damage from Hurricane Idalia and met with local leaders in Valdosta, including key agricultural leaders.
In June, USDA declared a large part of rural Georgia as a natural disaster area after the state’s peaches and other crops were hit by freezes earlier this year. According to the AJC, an estimated 90% of Georgia’s peach crop was destroyed.
Sen. Ossoff continues to lead the charge to strengthen the state’s agricultural industries and level the playing field for Georgia’s farmers.
In August, Sen. Ossoff launched a bipartisan effort to help Georgia farmers compete with imports from Mexico.
Earlier this year, Sen. Ossoff met with Georgia farmers ahead of the 2023 Farm Bill reauthorization to ensure the legislation meets the needs of Georgia farmers and growers.
Senator Warnock, a member of the Senate Agriculture committee, is pushing to strengthen crop safety net programs in the upcoming Farm Bill, including introducing legislation to improve the Tree Assistance Program, which would benefit peach and pecan growers impacted by recent natural disasters.
He and Senator Warnock also recently urged President Biden and the Department of Agriculture to boost funding to protect Georgia’s poultry industry from avian flu outbreaks.
Click here to read Sens. Ossoff and Warnock’s letter.
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