WASHINGTON – This week, the Connecticut Congressional Delegation amplified the call of Governor Ned Lamont, requesting President Biden and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack take necessary action to declare a disaster in Connecticut and ensure farmers in the state of Connecticut can survive the significant financial loss from the severe flooding that occurred this month.  

A disaster declaration is the first step in addressing the needs of farmers in the state. The delegation is working closely with the USDA, Farm Service Agency, and producers to introduce more comprehensive legislation in the upcoming Farm Bill reauthorization. New funding for emergency relief is necessary for the small and mid-size specialty crop producers in New England who are currently underserved by existing crop insurance and risk management policies. 

“There is an urgent need for further collaboration with your Administration and the Department of Agriculture to create new avenues for emergency relief funding for New England farmers. Typical assistance from the disaster declaration will not work for all farmers in our state—Connecticut producers face unique market challenges that leave them vulnerable after a disaster. We urge your Administration to look at what actions can be taken to expand access to financial assistance on an administrative level. In the meantime, we stand ready in Congress to support whatever funding or authorities are necessary to address the crisis,” wrote members of the congressional delegation.  

“In the last five years, Connecticut has experienced the effects of drought, frost, flooding and more. If we do not take decisive action to support our farmers, the industry will not survive the impacts of increasingly prevalent extreme weather events due to climate change. We stand ready to work with you and the Department of Agriculture to achieve results. Additionally, we would welcome the opportunity to host you or members of your administration in the state to hear firsthand from impacted farmers,” the members concluded.  

The letter to President Biden is available here

The letter to Secretary Vilsack is available here

The letter to Governor Lamont is available here