Shortly after farmers in Colorado were faced with severe flooding in September, others in South Dakota were hit with a record-breaking October blizzard leaving ranchers to deal with 48-inches of snow. Unprepared to face these conditions, farmers and ranchers in South Dakota lost tens of thousands of livestock to the freak storm. All of this came in the midst of the government shutdown, leaving family farmers without immediate answers or assistance from federal entities during the crises.
If you or your family was affected by the disasters in Colorado or South Dakota, contact 1-800-FARM-AID (800-327-6243) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional resources for affected farmers are available on the Farm Aid website. The Farmers Legal Action Group offers a guide explicating disaster programs available to farmers under the 2008 Farm Bill. The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service also has an extensive online list of available disaster relief resources. One of the most important steps a farmer can take when struck by a disaster is to carefully document all losses and attempts to receive help. RAFI-USA created a guide to help farmers with this documentation.
Farm Aid is working alongside partner organizations on the ground to assist these farmers, already having donated $20,000 toward the relief efforts. The Farm Aid Family Farm Disaster Fund is activated and accepting donations towards farmer and rancher recovery.