OHIO CO., Ky. (WFIE) – The Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture spoke on the state’s agriculture disaster relief program in Ohio County on Tuesday.
Dr. Ryan Quarles visited the Ohio County Farm and Garden Center off of Highway 69 North in Hartford.
Commissioner Quarles created the “Kentucky Agriculture Disaster Relief Program” after the December 10, 2021 tornadoes.
The program is to provide farmers who were affected access to the supplies they need to rebuild their farms.
Local farm retail stores like the Ohio County Farm and Garden Center are participating in the program.
The program gives qualifying farmers the opportunity to visit a participating farm supply store and get whatever they need for free.
Commissioner Quarles says through donations and a partnership with Kentucky Farm Bureau, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture was able to collect more than $1.5 million for the affected farmers.
“This helps piece together some of the smaller items that farmers need, like chainsaws, clean up equipment, fuel, etc.” said Commissioner Quarles. “It’s not going to make every farmer whole, but this comes from the generosity of both donors from the corporate sector, agriculture sector, and from unknown Americans from across our country.”
Commissioner Quarles says they’re able to give each affected farmer a $1,500 store credit to spend on whatever they need.
He says from growing up on a farm himself, he knew what was at stake.
“I knew the second I heard the news that we need to get to west and western Kentucky to help out because the farm community… we’re all one big family and that when one of us hurts, we all hurt,” said Commissioner Quarles.
Commissioner Quarles says all farmers have to do in order to be eligible is find a participating store and sign an affidavit saying that you experienced tornado damage.
That’s exactly what Ohio County farmer, Darin Harris, did when he lost his entire heard of cattle and multiple barns in the storm.
“It’s a good program. I strongly advice people to use it if it’s offered… available for them. Fence posts, wire, tools from saws to plyers, to steeples, everything it takes for the fencing. It’s just right here handy and they got it ready for you. There’s no wait,” said Harris.
To find a participating farm retail store near you, visit the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s website under the Disaster Relief page.
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