Franklin County farmer and community activist Karen Tucker is grateful to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and the federal government for being there for farmers across the state of Illinois in their time of need, after they declared all 102 counties in Illinois agricultural disaster areas.
“Farmers are definitely impacted and I believe the government is helping as much as they can,” Tucker told the North Egypt News. “I guess it depends on what area you live in, but I believe enough is being done to help everyone that needs it.”
With all 102 counties labeled as agricultural disaster areas, low-interest Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans will now be available to all farmers who qualify by showing that production has slowed by at least 30 percent for the year related to the disaster. The program was started following a season of extreme and inclimate weather across the state and the loans are intended to aide farmers in rebuilding or replacing essential property, covering expenses or refinancing debt.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Tucker said. “Around here, our farmers were just late; they had to get corn in the ground in June instead of April. The impact of that is the same as just having a bad year, but there were others who weren’t able to get anything in the ground. The people that have needed help have been able to get it and that’s the way it should be.”
Finally, Tucker said anyone who toils in the world of farming sort of grins and bares all the risks involved.
“Farming is and has always been a crap shoot,” she said. “You do all you can, then buy insurance and hope for the best.”