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Barn destroyed in Bethel, Vermont

Hurricane Irene – After the Storm: How You Can Help

By Lisa McCrory, NODPA News & Web Editor

We pulled together an article in the September NODPA News giving our readers information on how they can help their fellow producers who were hard hit by Tropical Storm Irene. Since that article was published, there has been some serious flooding in New York and Pennsylvania, which has caused extensive damage to Kevin and Lisa Engelbert's farm in Nichols, NY, along with others. Our thoughts go out to all those affected by these forces of nature. The article below, Hurricane Irene – After the Storm: How you can help, highlights a number of organizations that are raising money to assist our farmers in need.

Added September 12, 2011. By the time you read this article, Hurricane Irene's destruction will be a few weeks old. Most farmers will have made contact with FEMA and other organizations and are probably still assessing their damages. We know that funds are scarce and if a farmer gets some state or federal assistance or insurance payment it won't come close to recovering their losses. Homes, businesses and farms were affected in CT, MA, VT, NH, NY, RI and NJ with the bulk of the storm having its greatest impact in VT.

In a recent Odairy post, someone, after reading a NY Times article about a VT farm that was devastated, asked how they can help their fellow farmers. NODPA staff looked for resources in VT and the neighboring states specific to farm relief and found very little outside of Vermont. If you know of other organizations that NODPA should be promoting, please contact Lisa McCrory by email or phone at Lmccrory@hughes.net or 802-234-5524.

Below is a list of organizations in VT and NY that are raising funds to offer assistance directly to farmers.

NOFA Vermont's Farmer Emergency Fund

NOFA Vermont's Farmer Emergency Fund was established in 1997 to assist organic farmers adversely affected by natural and unnatural disasters like the recent flooding and damage from Irene. We anticipate many requests for funds after this disaster, so all donations are welcome. Grants and zero-percent-interest loans are awarded to farmers in need as funds are available.

To donate, please contact Kirsten Bower at the NOFA office; Kirsten@nofavt.org or 802-434-4122 ext 16 or send your donations to: NOFA-VT's Farmer Emergency Fund, PO Box 697, Richmond, VT 05477. To learn more about their program, go to www.nofavt.org .

New York FarmNet

New York FarmNet is a comprehensive program that provides farm families with a network of information, contacts and services to aid them in times of crisis. FarmNet staff offer financial and personal counseling to New York farmers during times of adversity, all at no cost to the farmer. To contribute to FarmNet, please send monetary donations to NY Farm Net, 415 Warren Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-7801. To learn more about New York FarmNet, visit their website at www.nyfarmnet.org.

Vermont Community Foundation:
www.vermontcf.org/give-now

Established by the Vermont Community Foundation to support Hurricane Irene recovery efforts, there are two specific funds you can contribute to:

  • Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund- Provides grant support to farms of any size that have sustained losses in the wake of Hurricane Irene.
  • Special and Urgent Needs Fund: Irene Recovery - Providesgrants to nonprofit organizations in the hardest hit communities, and pools and deploys donations in the coming weeks and months as specific needs become clearer.

If you would like to donate by check, please make it payable to: The Vermont Community Foundation and mail to: P.O. Box 30, Middlebury, VT 05753. Please write the name of the fund you would like to support in the memo section. For more information, please call: 802-388-3355.

Center for an Agricultral Economy's Vermont Farm Fund Emergency Loan Program

In light of the devastation that Hurricane Irene has wreaked on farms statewide, the Center for an Agricultural Economy has launched a zero interest loan program for farms in need. Donations to this fund accepted.

Website: http://hardwickagriculture.org/programs.html
E-mail: center@hardwickagriculture.org
Phone: (802) 472-5840
Mail: PO Box 451, 41 South Main Street, Hardwick, Vermont 05843

VT Irene Flood Relief fund:

Founded by Montpelier resident Todd Bailey, the fund is committed to distributing 100% of donations to Vermont businesses in need. To make your tax-deductible contribution, To make your tax-deductible contribution, please make your check payable to:

CVCAC/VT Irene Fund
Mailing address is: CVCAC, ATTN: VT Irene FRF, 195 US RT 302–Berlin, Barre, VT 05641
Or visit their website: www.vtirenefund.org

Train tracks twisted in White River Junction, Vermont