Vermont Farmers Battle the Impact of Hurricane Irene
Montpelier, VT – Many Vermont farmers are experiencing devastating effects from the flooding and
washed out roads in the wake of Hurricane Irene. The heavy rains accompanied by high winds are leaving
farmers with flooded fields and barns, debris, and limited options for milk pick-ups.
Although we understand that many people are still in emergency response mode, the Agency of
Agriculture is urging farmers to report losses sustained due to these weather incidents as soon as possible.
These efforts will assist the state in exploring various areas of possible assistance from the federal
Vermont Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross is urging farmers to contact state and federal agencies about
any damage or losses they have incurred or expect to incur in the future, so that the scope of the problem
and impacts can be documented accurately. “We need to hear from farmers in order to evaluate and
determine what kind of help might be available and where it is needed,” said Ross.
Vermont Emergency Management (VEM) is requesting that farmers of all types report damage to any of
their property in the following manner so that impact information can be included in their justification for
If you are in need of emergency response dial 911.
If you are in need of provisions or assistance, please contact your local responders, such as your local fire
or police departments. They will assess the situation and direct you to necessary resources as well as
connect farms in need of power with a working generator.
• If there is damage to your house(s) or other dwelling in which you live, that report should be made by
calling 211 and completing a damage assessment report with the operator. The operator will then forward
this information to VEM. Natural Resources Conservation Services also has the Emergency Watershed
Protection Program (EWP) that can help protect property that is in threat of further damage if not
immediately repaired. Call 802-951-6796 for information.
• If there is damage to any part of your property or business, including but not limited to barns, milking
parlors, crops, fields, equipment, etc., this information should be reported to your county USDA Farm
Service Agency or your county Natural Resources Conservation Services office; you can also contact
organizations to which you belong such as the Vermont Farm Bureau at 802-434-5646 or NOFA Vermont
802-434-4122. These organizations should send a summary of the information to the Agency of
Agriculture which will then forward to VEM. Farmers experiencing loss of crops due to flooding should
contact their crop insurance agent immediately as well as USDA Farm Service Agency.
Farmers are encouraged to keep in touch with USDA Farm Service Agency at 802-658-2803 and Natural
Resources Conservation Service at 802-951-6796.