Governor, Ag Secretary, FSA Director tour Wisconsin farms damaged by blizzard

Wisconsin and USDA officials tour Birling’s Bovines, where heavy snow collapsed the roofs on farm buildings

Government leaders want Wisconsin farmers impacted by the recent blizzard they will help them recover.

Wisconsin Ag Secretary Sheila Harsdorf tells Brownfield, “The northeast was hit hard with this storm and we, between the federal government and the state, we want to do whatever we can to get people back on their feet.”

Harsdorf joined Governor Scott Walker and USDA Farm Service Agency Director Sandy Chalmers on a tour of storm-damaged farms Wednesday.  Walker says storm damage from the entire state should be reported, and the Insurance Commissioner’s office can also help.  “This is fairly unique, so depending on the insurer, if farmers and other property owners identify (or) have a feeling that maybe the adjusters aren’t as attuned to the challenge that you might have on a farm situation, again, that’s why we have a hotline where people can contact us.”

Chalmers says county FSA offices will collect storm damage information, which can be used to determine if Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue will declare a disaster.  She tells Brownfield farmers impacted by the storm should see what FSA can offer them.  “It would take too much time to explain the ins and outs of all of the programs we have available, but give your local (FSA) office a call and they can walk you through what you might be eligible for.”

Walker, Harsdorf, and Chalmers talked to Brownfield while touring Birling’s Bovines, a 3-thousand cow dairy near Black Creek, where drifts as high as six feet caused roofs to collapse.

Governor Walker speaks to the media during the farm tour.

Wisconsin Secretary of Ag, Trade, and Consumer Protection Sheila Harsdorf talks to Brownfield while walking through storm-damaged farm buildings.

Wisconsin Farm Service Agency Executive Director Sandy Chalmers discusses storm damage, reporting, and FSA programs that might help.


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