Upton issues statement after USDA approves disaster designation for Berrien, Cass, and St. Joseph counties
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a secretarial disaster designation for Berrien, Cass, and St. Joseph counties.
“Today’s announcement is welcome news for our farmers and producers in Berrien, Cass, and St. Joseph counties. In July, when I went on my farm tour throughout southwest Michigan, farmers made it clear that they were suffering. Within the last year, they have experienced record rainfall, extreme temperatures, and other damaging weather conditions. This disaster designation is a good start, but I will continue my conversations with the USDA and encourage them to approve our disaster designation request for the rest of the counties in our district and the entire state of Michigan.”
In June, Upton spearheaded a bipartisan letter from 13 members of the Michigan Congressional Delegation to Secretary Perdue urging support for Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s USDA Secretarial Disaster Designation request for the state of Michigan. In July, Upton visited a number of farms in southwest Michigan to see the damage from the extreme weather firsthand and to raise awareness of the need for the disaster designation.
According to the USDA, farmers and producers in Berrien, Cass, and St. Joseph counties are now “eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met."