Farmers Union pushes for disaster assistance changes

National Farmers Union would like to see a permanent and ready-to-use disaster program in place for farmers.

Government Relations Director Mike Stranz tells Brownfield the current ad hoc way of handling disasters takes USDA time to implement, is too slow to help, and is often underfunded. “There’s been some push back about how the department has done it. We need to make sure we prevent these sorts of situations from happening by having a disaster program in place, preferably through the farm bill.”

Stranz says getting a permanent USDA program to handle disaster assistance has been a priority for Farmers Union, “so that when they strike and when there’s funding available, there’s already a program in place to administer that. so hopefully, that gets worked into this next farm bill.”

Stranz says having a permanent program would standardize the registration process and speed up administration of aid to farmers.  He says it would also make it easier for Farm Service Agency, since they won’t have to start from scratch with every new disaster.

Stranz spoke to Brownfield during the Wisconsin Farmers Union convention last weekend.

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