The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Agricultural Council (FAC) made up by agencies within the department met today to discuss plans to provide financial support and programs to those farms, ranches, businesses, individuals and local government entities.
The programs and financial support offered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Rural Development (RD) are available to help individuals directly affected by the wild fires currently burning throughout New Mexico. The services offered include the direct loss of homes, infrastructure, community facilities, crops, livestock, and processing facilities,.
"USDA wants to be sure that those affected by the recent fires are aware of our programs that can help homeowners, business owners, farmers and ranchers recover from these disasters," said Terry Brunner, USDA Rural Development State Director and Chair of the USDA State Food and Agriculture Council. He added, "We encourage residents to contact our offices to find out if there are programs available to address their needs."
The FSA has eight emergency programs that help agricultural producers offset the cost of crops or livestock because of fire, natural disaster and drought. Depending on eligibility, producers can receive cash payments and emergency funding to rehabilitate farmland and offset the loss of livestock.
The NRCS staff has been assembling assessment teams to evaluate the extent of the damages to develop cost estimates to begin restoration of the soil and to prevent erosion and to determine the eligibility for the Emergency Watershed Program (EWP). The teams will also provide overall technical advice and assistance to local landowners. The New Mexico NRCS State Conservationist has dispatched a Damage Survey Report (DSR) Team to the Track Fire above Raton on Monday, June 27, 2011, to begin in depth assessments.
RD can provide funds to augment the cost to replace a home, business or community facility or infrastructure such as a water or wastewater system.