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July 14--  In response to a letter sent by Gov. Nathan Deal, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack determined that, due to damage and losses caused by excessive rain, high winds and hail, Tattnall County suffered production losses great enough to warrant a Secretarial natural disaster designation. The severe storm occurred from March 26 to March 28 this year.

“Secretary Vilsack responded to our request in a timely manner, and for that I am grateful,” said Gov. Deal. “This designation will allow farmers to access emergency loans to help relieve some of the burden the storm caused.”

In accordance with the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, Vilsack also designated Appling, Candler, Emanuel, Evans, Liberty, Long, Toombs and Wayne as contiguous disaster counties.

Like Tattnall County, a primary natural disaster area, the contiguous disaster counties makes farm operators there eligible for assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA). FSA assistance includes emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments program. Eligible farmers have eight months from the Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance. Farmers may contact their local FSA office for more information.