- Report Published -
|Disaster Assistance to Virginia's Farmers|
|Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services|
|SJR 162 (Regular Session, 2000)|
|As requested by the 2000 Virginia General Assembly, the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services has initiated a study of the disaster assistance needs of Virginia farmers and how the Commonwealth of Virginia, working in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, can better meet the needs of our state's farmers in coping with destructive natural disasters.|
The purpose of this interim report is to communicate the actions taken thus far to carry out this study and to involve members of the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services, other citizen farmers and representatives of farm groups and state and federal agencies in the review of the challenges created by natural disaster, how disasters were handled in 1999, and how the handling of future disasters may be improved.
1. Virginia farmers have experienced significant agricultural Josses from natural disasters over the past twenty-four years, and drought has been a major cause of losses due to natural disasters.
2. Natural disaster creates critical challenges that must be dealt with through the cooperative and coordinated actions of the private sector and local, state and federal government.
3. Congress, through the creation of the National Drought Policy Commission, is looking to address ways our nation responds to natural disasters that impact agriculture.
4. With nearly all of the financial and risk management assistance received by farmers currently being provided through the federal government, the role of the Commonwealth in responding to natural disasters affecting agriculture has been primarily one of coordinating and facilitating federal assistance.
5. Many agencies are involved in the Commonwealth's response to the challenges and losses that natural disasters create for Virginia farmers. Ongoing efforts that focus on improving the coordination of these efforts, particularly when addressing the immediate needs that farmers face during droughts, should be continued.
6. Virginia currently has a law relating to the state's response to agricultural disasters that has not been utilized.
The study of disaster assistance needs and how the Commonwealth can better respond to these needs should be continued into 2001 with a final report issued prior to the 2002 Session of the General Assembly.