Florida Delegation Calls on USDA to Declare a Disaster for Florida Agriculture After Hurricane Ian

At the end of last week, members of the Florida delegation sent a letter to U.S. Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack in support of the state of Florida’s request to declare a Disaster for Florida counties that were impacted by Hurricane Ian, and to make assistance available to growers whose crops were damaged or destroyed.

U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., signed the letter. So did U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Kat Cammack, R-Fla., Kathy Castor, D-Fla., Shelia Cherfilus-McCormick, D-Fla., Val Demings, D-Fla., Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., Byron Donalds, R-Fla., Neal Dunn, R-Fla., Lois Frankel, D-Fla., Scott Franklin, R-Fla., Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Brian Mast, R-Fla., Bill Posey, R-Fla., Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., Darren Soto, D-Fla., Greg Steube, R-Fla., Michael Waltz, R-Fl.a, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

The letter is below.

Dear Secretary Vilsack:

We write in support of the State of Florida’s request for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to declare a Disaster for Florida counties that were impacted by Hurricane Ian, and to make assistance available to growers whose crops were damaged or destroyed.

Florida’s growers have a unique role in the American food economy, as Florida is one of the only locations in the United States where major agricultural production can occur in the winter and spring months. Florida’s agriculture industry feeds more than one hundred million Americans who live along the eastern seaboard, when they otherwise do not have access to domestically-grown fresh food. In order to support the growers who were affected by Hurricane Ian, and to ensure that they can recover from losses and continue their important service of feeding America, the expeditious approval of a disaster declaration is warranted and necessary in order to have a successful winter and spring harvest season.

As you know, Florida’s growers have been severely impacted by a range of challenges. Your support for the State of Florida’s request would make meaningful impact for our growers, and assist their efforts in support of our food security and national security.

Thank you for your consideration.

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