Nov 20, 2018Reps hear plea from Georgia growers for hurricane relief aid
The Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association released a statement regarding a visit by the state’s specialty crop interests with congressional representatives in Washington, D.C.
“A delegation representing Georgia’s specialty crop industry visited a number of congressional offices last week to inform our elected representative about the damages and request disaster funding for those growers suffering major losses from Hurricane Michael. The delegation included Brent Brinkley, President, Georgia Pecan Growers Association; Lanair Worsham, Chair, Georgia Commodity Commission for Pecans; Jerome Crosby, Georgia blueberry industry rep; Gerald Long, President, Georgia Farm Bureau; Tripp Cofield, National Affairs Coordinator, Georgia Farm Bureau; Bill Brim, Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association; Charles Hall, Executive Director, GFVGA; Bo Warren, GA Department of Agriculture; Bob Redding and Joe Thomas with the Redding Firm.
During the congressional office and agency visits, growers detailed the massive devastation the produce industry suffered from the hurricane. They outlined the need for federal help for specialty crop growers, since many produce and pecan farms did not have any insurance on their crops. GFVGA and the Georgia Pecan Growers Association provided background information outlining the program adjustments needed by our growers.
Georgia and Florida congressional offices visited included, U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, and Congressmen Buddy Carter (GA-1), Sanford Bishop (GA-2), Austin Scott (GA-8), Rick Allen (GA-12), Drew Ferguson (GA-3), Al Lawson (FL-5), and Neal Dunn (FL-2). The group met with USDA Representatives for FSA and RMA, in addition to U.S. House Ag Committee and House Committee on Appropriations staff members.
According to Charles Hall, Executive Director of GFVGA, “Our goal for this trip was to make the offices aware of the financial crisis of our specialty crop growers. We are very concerned that without significant federal assistance, banks will deny farm loans for operations this spring and many growers will have to shut down.”
“The hurricane relief program developed last year (WHIP 2017) will not work for vegetable or pecan growers,” Hall further explained. “We stressed the changes needed for this program to provide any relief to our growers.”
All the congressional offices expressed concern for the crop losses and support to assist growers hurt by Hurricane Michael.”
For more information contact Charles Hall at the GFVGA office- [email protected] or 706-845-8200.
Photo: Georgia specialty crop grower meeting with U.S. Senator David Perdue, left to right: Bob Redding, the Redding Firm; Daniel Hale, Senator Perdue staff; Gerald Long, Georgia Farm Bureau; Bill Brim, GFVGA; Senator David Perdue; Brent Brinkley, GA Pecan Growers Association; Jerome Crosby, GA Blueberry Commission; Lanair Worsham, Georgia Pecan Commission.