Disaster Assistance Available to New Jersey Horse Farms

Horse farm owners should be aware that disaster assistance is available from several government organizations. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) has several long-running programs intended to help all agricultural producers after natural disasters. All counties in New Jersey have been declared disaster areas as a result of the damage they sustained during Hurricane Irene, so all farms are eligible.

  • Livestock Indemnity Program--makes payments for animal losses if the deaths occurred as a direct result of the disaster. Show or pleasure horses would not be included in this program, but breeding farms should contact FSA if they had any losses.
  • Emergency Conservation Program--provides emergency funding and technical assistance to rehabilitate eligible farmland damaged by natural disasters.

The FSA also offers emergency farm loans to help restore or replace essential property, pay production costs associated with the disaster year, pay essential family living expenses, reorganize the farming operation, and refinance certain debts. The FSA has offices located throughout the state; find your closest location at offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=nj&agency=fsa.

Farm owners can also look into disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This organization can provide assistance for housing needs not covered by insurance, loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance, business loans up to $2 million for small businesses, and agricultural loans up to $500,000 for farmers and ranchers to cover production and property losses. You can get more information at the New Jersey-specific FEMA website (www.fema.gov/news/event.fema?id=15536) and you can find out your eligibility for these programs and apply for aid online at www.disasterassistance.gov/.

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