Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black announced Feb. 26 the Farm Recovery Block Grants for farmers and forest landowners affected by Hurricane Michael. The Georgia Department of Agriculture will begin accepting online applications for the $347 million in block grant funds on March 18.
Georgia farmers and forest landowners in 95 eligible counties who suffered losses to beef, dairy, fruit and vegetable, pecan, poultry, timber, and uninsured infrastructure will need to enroll in the recovery program at farmrecovery.com. The federal block grants seek to help recover losses not covered under existing USDA Farm Service Agency programs.
"While we recognize that the recovery aid won't make Georgia farmers and farm families whole again, it is our hope that the Georgia Farm Recovery Block Grant will bring much relief and stability to our farming communities," said Commissioner Black. "I commend every member of the Georgia Department of Agriculture team who has worked tirelessly since June 2019 to craft and finalize this program. I thank our federal partners and want the farm families of Georgia to know that we are here to serve them."
The enrollment process can only be completed online through farmrecovery.com. While mobile phones may be used to sign up and log in, applicants are strongly encouraged to complete the application using a computer to ensure proper upload and attachment of required documentation. Applications must be submitted by the April 8, 2020 deadline.
In 2018, Georgia agriculture suffered a $2.5 billion economic loss from Hurricane Michael. Since June 2019, the GDA has worked closely with the USDA to reach an agreement on a disaster relief package. Last November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) earmarked $800 million in block grant funds to aid states impacted by the storm, allocating $347 million for Georgia farmers and landowners.