Since the beginning of October, farmers in South Carolina have been drowning in the damages from an unprecedented flood event.
Here at South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation, we have been working day and night to help you get back on your feet.
We’ve been in constant communication with our elected leaders in South Carolina and Washington, DC to bring you the relief you need so desperately.
That’s why we’re proud to announce that the $1.5 trillion Omnibus Appropriations Bill that just passed Congress contains the potential for millions of dollars in disaster relief funding.
“The potential relief included in the omnibus bill is a positive step for our farmers who are struggling to survive after the flooding devastated their crops,” said South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation President Harry Ott.
“Thank you to Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, and Congressmen Jim Clyburn, Joe Wilson and Tom Rice for their unwavering efforts to help South Carolina agriculture. Securing disaster relief was always going to be an uphill battle, but their willingness to fight for farmers will forever be appreciated by our agriculture community.”
In the bill, you’ll find provisions to help farmers avoid bankruptcy and repair infrastructure.
The bulk of disaster relief comes in the form of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, where Congress appropriated $300 million in disaster relief funding for Oklahoma, Texas and South Carolina.
“Our congressional delegation supports the CDBG funds going to agriculture,” Ott said after visiting Washington, D.C. this week to talk with and secure commitments from members of the delegation. “We appreciate the commitments from Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, and Congressmen Jim Clyburn, Joe Wilson, Tom Rice, Trey Gowdy, Jeff Duncan and Mick Mulvaney in support of this effort.”
President Harry Ott has been in Washington, D.C. making the case for South Carolina farmers receiving relief from the flood disaster
Clemson University and the SC Department of Agriculture previously estimated $376 million in crop losses across the state. When indirect losses are factored in, the agriculture industry is facing nearly $700 million in damages from the flooding.
“The money our farmers will receive from this bill represents only a portion of the $376 million crop loss across the state,” Ott stated. “We know that more disaster aid will be needed, not only for agriculture, but for other businesses as well. Farm Bureau will continue to work with our congressional delegation to exhaust all options available for disaster relief, including a stand-alone bill, if needed.”
Ott stressed patience for farmers as the process unfolds.
“It could take months still for any money to reach farmers, and they shouldn’t expect direct payments,” said Ott, “but we are hopeful that our farmers will receive some relief out of the CDBG program.”