(WTXL) - U.S. Rep. Al Lawson urged House Leaders to request disaster assistance for farmers affected by hurricanes Michael and Florence.
According to a press release, the letter was co-signed by 26 lawmakers from states impacted by the two hurricanes that devastated the southeast earlier this year.
“The Florida panhandle suffered wide-spread devastation from Hurricane Michael, leaving extensive damage to communities, including significant crop losses,” Rep. Lawson said. “Agriculture is the economic driving force of many North Florida communities. This assistance is necessary to help farmers recover and get back on their feet for the next planting season.”
Agriculture is a more than $120 billion industry in Florida, with more than 9.5 million acres of farm land in production. It is one of the strongest pillars of Florida’s economy supporting more than 2 million jobs.
With an increase in farm bankruptcies by 39 percent over the past two years, Rep. Lawson is also concerned that without quick assistance, many farm families may not survive the economic circumstances they may face.