May 4, 2022

State Department of Agriculture sets up tornado relief, resource page

Agricultural areas hit hard by weekend tornadoes

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has created a resource page on its website for those affected by this weekend’s disastrous weather events, the commissioner announced Tuesday at Agriculture, Dr. Ryan Quarles.

“This is one of the greatest natural disasters to ever hit our state, and it will take time for our people to recover,” Quarles said. “I have witnessed incredible feats of humanity and strength in recent days. As the response to this storm shows, when the farming community is knocked down, we rise again. We hope to help those who are currently knocked down. Since early Saturday morning, we, along with other state agencies, have field personnel assisting and working at the Kentucky Emergency Operations Center to provide rapid responses to those in need. At the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, we are committed to being a resource for agricultural producers across the state.

The resource page, at kyagr.com/tornado, features a list of ways agricultural producers can find the help they need during this difficult time.

The page will include:

  • United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Disaster Assistance Programs
  • An Overview of Federal Assistance Programs
  • A tip sheet for agricultural producers to assess damage
  • Information from the Kentucky State Veterinarian’s Office on Livestock Disposal
  • Mental health resources

“I spoke to US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack earlier today,” Commissioner Quarles said. “I sincerely appreciate the resources and communication he and the Department have provided over the past few days as we all work together to help Western Kentucky. This is not the time for politics; this is a time for all of us to work together to help our friends and families in Western Kentucky.

As more information becomes available and new resources are announced, the KDA will continually update the page to help agricultural producers find the help they need.

On Monday, KDA informed Kentuckians of two resources to help agricultural producers who have been impacted by the storm.

The Kentucky Agricultural Relief Fund

The Kentucky Agriculture Relief Fund is a cash donation portal operated by the Kentucky Farm Bureau Education Foundation. Funds raised will be administered through a grant process. Donations will be used to support farmers and agribusinesses in affected areas.

Agricultural Disaster Donations in Kentucky

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Cooperative Extension Service are partnering to coordinate an operation to identify needs and supplies individual farms in the affected area.

People in affected areas should contact their county extension office, which will collect a list of grower needs for their operation and provide this information to the KDA. The Department will then coordinate with Commonwealth agricultural organizations and endeavor to match the requested need with the donor of the item. This can include immediate needs such as hay or food to longer term items such as fencing material.