USDA holds flood recovery assistance meeting for local farmers

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BOONVILLE - Farmers gathered at Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge on Thursday to discuss their options for flood recovery assistance. 

Flooding along the Missouri River, starting in spring and lasting well into the summer, has impacted farmers and ranchers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has disaster assistance programs available to help agricultural producers recover after natural disasters, including floods and tornadoes.

"We put together these meetings to really bring together producers who have been impacted and the agencies that have programs available to help them," said Jessica Claypole, public affairs and outreach specialist with the Missouri Farm Service Agency.

Claypole said they were intentional when picking a place to host the meeting.

"We're right in the heart of Missouri River country, but we also wanted to reach surrounding counties and areas," Claypole said.

Jason Lenimen, a farmer and rancher, said he found the meeting to be very informative. Most of his ground is Missouri River bottom ground, so he felt the impact of the flooding this past spring.

"They did a good job of informing us about what agencies offer what and how to deal with crop insurance," Lenimen said.

Lenimen has lived in Missouri for most of his life. He said that he hasn't seen flooding along the river this bad since 1993.

"Before the river flooded and it went back down to the normal level, this time it flooded and still hasn't really dropped back to its normal level," Leniman said.

USDA offers a disaster assistance discovery tool that walks producers through five questions to help them identify personalized results of what USDA disaster assistance programs meet their needs.

For more information on disaster assistance programs, contact your local USDA service center or farmers.gov/recover.

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