USDA officials meet with area farmers - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

USDA officials meet with area farmers

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Farmers suffered from last summer's drought. Farmers suffered from last summer's drought.

HENRY COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) – Federal officials met with local farmers to begin a recovery process after suffering from drought last summer.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) came to Northwest Ohio to meet with dozens of area farmers and discuss the impact of the drought and develop a plan for future weather hardships.

"It has economic stress on the growers," said Lou Kozma, local tomato farmer and processor. "And the communities in general because a lot of the communities in Northwest Ohio are supported by the producers and growers."

Kozma said it means a lot to him that organizations like the USDA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Small Business Association are listening to the problems of local farmers.

"Who knows better what the needs and issues and concerns are [in the area] than the people who live and work and do business in the area?" said Colleen Callahan, disaster recovery coordinator for drought with the USDA.

The other purpose of the meeting was to raise awareness of programs such as Crop Insurance, Livestock Assistance, and Credit Assistance.

"There is no new money; there is no extra money," Callahan said. "There is no silver bullet, so as the Secretary of Agriculture says, ‘We're going to have to be smarter.'"

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