Farm Aid Helps Flood Victims; Bush Sits On Hands

 

Willie Nelson distributes initial relief
funds Saturday to Iowa
grassroots coalition.

By
Blurt Staff

 

While
George Bush uttered yet more Katrina-like rhetoric and hollow promises, flooding
continued to ravage agricultural and rural towns on the banks of the Mississippi River and other rivers. As a result, Farm Aid activated its Family Farm Disaster Fund to get immediate relief to family
farmers in Iowa, Wisconsin
and across the Midwest. Farm Aid President and
Founder Willie Nelson distributed the first grant from the Family Farm Disaster
Fund on Saturday, June 21, to the Iowa Grassroots Coalition, a group of farm
and faith-based organizations in Iowa
working on the recovery effort.

 

“Our
hearts go out to the folks all along the Mississippi
who are being affected by the severe floods that have taken out towns and farms
in Iowa and Wisconsin,” said Farm Aid President
Willie Nelson. “At Farm Aid, we have had friends in these communities for
23 years who can deliver immediate support to family farmers, getting them back
on the land, growing good food for all of us.”

 

Reports
indicate that at least four million acres of farmland are underwater and that a
high percentage will not be replanted this growing season. Many family farms in
the region growing specialty crops and produce are not adequately covered by
federal crop insurance and may not have the financial support necessary to
rebuild.

 

Farm
Aid emergency assistance is supporting local recovery efforts in Iowa and Wisconsin,
delivering an initial $10,000 in disaster-relief funds to grassroots
organizations. Since the Family Farm Disaster Fund was activated on Wednesday
of this week, more than $40,000 has already been donated by individuals and
organizations, including Best Buy and WhiteWave, makers of Horizon Organic and
Silk Soymilk. As money is raised, Farm Aid’s focus is to quickly distribute
money to affected areas, where it can best benefit farm families.

 

“In
the face of the devastation caused by the flooding across the Midwest,
Farm Aid is proud to work with the individuals and organizations that have
already stepped up and shown their support for family farmers. Together, we
will help these farmers rebuild and protect our source of good food,” said
Farm Aid Executive Director Carolyn Mugar.

 

Farm
Aid is supporting the disaster-relief efforts of the Iowa Grassroots Coalition,
which includes Buy Fresh Buy Local Iowa, Center for Rural Affairs, Iowa
Citizens for Community Improvement, Iowa Farmers Union, Iowa Network for
Community Agriculture, Iowa Organic Association, National Catholic Rural Life
Conference, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Women Food and Agriculture Network,
farmer and advocate Denise O¹Brien, and Wendy Wasserman, editor of Edible Iowa
River Valley. As more information is available about the impact of the flooding
in states across the Midwest, Farm Aid will
work with additional organizations to quickly get resources to family farmers
in those states.

 

“Family
farmers across Iowa have been sharing their
personal stories about the impact this monumental flooding has had on their
farm operations,” said Coalition spokesperson Denise O’Brien, an Atlantic, IA farmer. “We want to get assistance to
these farmers as quickly as possible, and we thank our long-time friends at
Farm Aid for giving us their support.”

 

Contributions
can be made to Farm Aid¹s Family Farm Disaster Fund online at www.farmaid.org.

 

 

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