Ag News

GFB signs onto letter requesting federal disaster aid

On Feb. 14, Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black sent a letter to members of Georgia’s U.S. congressional delegation seeking federal disaster assistance funding for farms and communities that suffered devastating losses when Hurricane Michael blew through southwest Georgia last October. Georgia Farm Bureau and 21 other agricultural organizations signed the letter, which was accompanied by a petition signed by more than 2,600 Georgians urging action on disaster relief.

Kemp and Black emphasized that the state has responded in an unprecedented way, but that “far too many families face heightened uncertainty approaching this planting season.”

They went on to request that the state’s congressional delegation “utilize every sphere of influence, expand every previous limit of compromise, and exhaust every pathway of negotiation to ensure swift fulfillment of promises made to – and heard by – our producers and rural communities.”

The letter followed passage of the compromise funding bill to keep the federal government open, which did not include disaster assistance funding. The bill, House Joint Resolution 31, passed by a 300-128 vote in the U.S. House and 83-16 in the U.S. Senate. Georgia’s House delegation was split, with Sanford Bishop (D-2nd District), Drew Ferguson (R-3rd District), Hank Johnson (D-4th District), John Lewis (D-5th District), Lucy McBath (D-6th District), David Scott (D-13th District) and Rob Woodall (R-7th District) voting for it. Georgia Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue both voted in favor of the funding bill.

On Feb. 15 Isakson and Perdue issued a joint statement saying they would introduce a disaster funding bill when Congress reconvenes on Feb. 25.