Some Georgia farmers say they’re worried they’ll lose land that’s been in their families for generations after hurricanes and tariff hikes wiped out their crops and reserve cash. Federal leaders promise to help, but farm loans are coming due, and disaster relief has yet to arrive.
On March 26, the US Senate voted to debate a multibillion-dollar relief bill for areas hard hit by hurricanes, wildfires and flooding. An earlier proposal was derailed in negotiations to end the government shutdown and a partisan dispute over funding for Puerto Rico.
In late February, Georgia Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue introduced a similar bill to quickly distribute federal funds promised to farmers after Hurricane Michael, but that measure has yet to pass also.
GPB has been checking in regularly with farmers affected by the devastation.
Casey Cox is a sixth-generation peanut farmer in southwest Georgia, who told GPB, “I don’t want to be the generation that loses this farm. I don’t want to be the person that has to sell the farm and move away because I couldn’t manage it properly. I want to be a good steward of this land, and the business that my family has spent generations building.’”
Sen. David Perdue is on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. He spoke with On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott from Washington on March 27, the day after his appeal on the Senate floor to help Georgia farmers wiped out by the unprecedented damage. Perdue blamed partisan gridlock for the lack for disaster relief and gave his view on efforts to help Georgia farmers.