Georgia Extension helps farmers recover their losses after natural disaster
Following the destruction of Hurricane Michael on Oct. 10, 2018, the lives of Georgia citizens turned upside down. Stepping in to assist farmers, University of Georgia Extension agents became the link between clients and other agencies such as the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Farmers and landowners who suffered losses from the disaster received more than $1.7 million through the Georgia Farm Recovery Block Grant program.
A UGA Extension county agent helped 25 clients enter and upload information and paperwork for more than 32 applications for assistance. One timber owner said, “When the block grant was announced, I had no idea how to scan or enter the information into the computer. Our family had significant timber loss from Hurricane Michael. The agent spent many hours helping me enter the information for the block grant. She was professional and polite through the whole process. She was able to contact the proper person to get answers to our questions. She was a lifesaver for us on getting the block grant done.”
Steps to help farmers and landowners take advantage of this grant opportunity included advertisement of the program, phone calls, office visits and farm visits to evaluate timber losses. Additional assistance involved working with Farm Recovery Block Grant personnel to ensure the applications were correctly completed and helping clients with final contract acceptance procedures.