MENDOCINO Co, CA, 2/17/23 — Mendocino County farmers affected by the severe storm cycles in late December and January can apply before Oct. 2 for aid with their losses, according to a news release from the county Friday.
President Joseph Biden’s major disaster declaration on Jan. 14 freed up funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Emergency Loan Program. Emergency farm loans of up to $500,000 are available for both physical losses and crop production losses as a result of the storms.
Farmers and ranchers who conduct family-sized farming operations can qualify, per the release.
Those interested can contact the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office in Ukiah at (707) 468-9223. Hearing impaired individuals should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at 202-720-2600. Additional information can be found at the USDA website.
This is one of numerous aid and loan programs for which Mendocino County qualifies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s individualized assistance, loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA), and “replacement” CalFresh food benefits.
Households could be eligible for funds via an EBT card from CalFresh if at least one person in the household was not getting regular CalFresh food benefits, if money was spent because of the storms or related power outage, if money was lost from work because of the severe winter storms, or if money was spent because of damage to a home or business.
FEMA has set up disaster recovery centers in Point Arena and Willits, where other organizations offer services and information as well.
“Don’t wait to apply,” FEMA representative Patrick Boland advised. Meanwhile, small businesses and homeowners can also apply for loans for repairs and other needs.
“Your first payment wouldn’t be due until a year after your first disbursement,” SBA representative Cynthia Cowell said, explaining that the SBA can offer homeowners up to $200,000 for repairs and businesses up to $2 million for economic or physical damages.
Note: Kate Fishman covers the environment & natural resources for The Mendocino Voice in partnership with a Report For America. Her position is funded by the Community Foundation of Mendocino, Report for America, & our readers. You can support Fishman’s work with a tax-deductible donation here or by emailing [email protected]. Contact her at KFishman@mendovoice.com or at (707) 234-7735. The Voice maintains editorial control and independence.