Relief is coming to Pasco County’s agricultural community with a Disaster Assistance Session, Thursday, Oct. 12.
The Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service will be hosting a session for residents to take advantage of federal and state assistance to alleviate the damage and defer some of the cost from the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Small Business Administration, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Sen. Bill Nelson’s office will be at the town hall-style meeting to talk to ranchers and farmers in the area who were affected by the recent weather.
Whitney Elmore, the County Extension Director, said the damage to the region from Hurricane Irma “was spotty from one part of the county to the next and we’ve got agricultural enterprises all over Pasco from east, west, north, south.”
The region received large amounts of rain and wind while when Hurricane Irma came through. The storm caused structural damage, harming barns and fences, and flooded pastures.
One of the main concerns are for farms that continue to be non-operational. Farmers and ranchers may also be seeking information on how to prepare for future storms and how to prevent further damage.
The Pasco County agriculture community ranges from small, locally-run farms to larger producers, and brings in $75 million annually. Animal husbandry and blueberry farming make up a large part of that impact.
The meeting will be held Thursday night at the Pasco County Cooperative Extension Office, 36702 S.R. 52 in Dade City from 6 to 8 p.m. A Spanish translator will be available.