USDA officials meet with area farmers

Farmers suffered from last summer's drought.
Farmers suffered from last summer's drought.

HENRY COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) – Federal officials metwith local farmers to begin a recovery process after suffering from droughtlast summer.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)came to Northwest Ohio to meet with dozens of area farmers and discuss theimpact of the drought and develop a plan for future weather hardships.

"It has economic stress on the growers," said Lou Kozma,local tomato farmer and processor. "And the communities in general because alot of the communities in Northwest Ohio are supported by the producers andgrowers."

Kozma said it means a lot to him that organizations likethe USDA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the SmallBusiness Association are listening to the problems of local farmers.

"Who knows better what the needs and issues and concernsare [in the area] than the people who live and work and do business in thearea?" said Colleen Callahan, disaster recovery coordinator for drought withthe USDA.

The other purpose of the meeting was to raise awarenessof programs such as Crop Insurance, Livestock Assistance, and CreditAssistance.

"There is no new money; there is no extra money,"Callahan said. "There is no silver bullet, so as the Secretary of Agriculturesays, 'We're going to have to be smarter.'"

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