Commissioner Simpson Announces Approval of First Loan for Farmers Impacted by Idalia

Clint Thompson Florida

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson announced on Friday, Jan. 26 the approval of the first Hurricane Idalia recovery loan through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Agriculture and Aquaculture Producers Natural Disaster Recovery Loan Program.

Simpson and legislative leaders announced the launch of two first-of-their-kind agricultural disaster recovery programs with more than $112 million in funding to help Florida farmers and ranchers rebuild and recover from Hurricane Idalia. 

Wilton Simpson/Florida Commissioner of Agriculture

“We are proud to announce the approval of this first loan for Hurricane Idalia-impacted farmers, and to do so while in the middle of legislative session and only a week after the recovery programs launched represents extraordinary progress in supporting our agriculture community,” said Simpson. “Our proud farmers, ranchers, and growers have a long road to recovery, but our agricultural industry will rebuild thanks to the unprecedented support from Governor Ron DeSantis, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, House Speaker Paul Renner, President-Designate Ben Albritton, Senator Corey Simon, Representative Jason Shoaf and the entire Florida Legislature.” 

More than 250 agriculture operations have started the process to apply for these programs. Impacted agricultural producers can now apply for or learn more about the Agriculture and Aquaculture Producers Natural Disaster Recovery Loan Program and the Silviculture Recovery Program. 

Agriculture and Aquaculture Producers Natural Disaster Recovery Loan

  • $75 million is available for low-interest or interest-free loans up to $500,000 for eligible agriculture and aquaculture producers that have experienced damage or destruction from Hurricane Idalia. 
  • Loans may be used to restore, repair or replace essential physical property, including fences, equipment, greenhouses, and other buildings, or to remove vegetative debris. 
  • Interested producers can learn more or apply here

Silverculture Recovery Program

  • $37.5 million is available to assist eligible timber landowners through cost-share grants in declared counties damaged from Hurricane Idalia with site preparation and tree planting activities. 
  • Grants will be up to 75% of the costs for site preparation and tree planting costs with a maximum award of $250,000. 

* Interested producers can learn more or apply here

Source: FDACS