RAFI’s Executive Director, Scott Marlow, delivered testimony before a U.S. House Subcommittee as part of a larger series of hearings entitled, “The Next Farm Bill”, hosted by the Committee on Agriculture of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The consensus is that times have changed in recent years, but our values haven’t. We believe in a world where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. Our nation was founded on that principle, and we’ve worked hard to make it a reality as we build a society that values everyone equally. As an agricultural nonprofit organization, we work everyday to make sure those fundamental principles hold true for thousands of family farmers. But we know first hand that our work is far from over.
During a flood or other natural disaster there will be a series of challenges facing every farmer. For an organic farmer, the flood or other natural disaster will have results that can be unique to organic production. This booklet presents a short summary of some of the issues that organic producers may face during a natural disaster – and in particular with a flood.
Hurricane Matthew has flooded several chicken farms in eastern North Carolina and left many out of power. When disaster strikes like this, farmers face may find themselves facing loss or damage to their home, to their land and essential farm equipment, and a long road to recovery and rebuilding. On top of that, as the flood waters receded chicken and livestock farmers will face another dilemma – they may have lost entire flocks, which can be hundreds of thousands of birds. In these catastrophic loss situations, farmers’ contracts make it clear that even though the companies technically own the birds while they are alive, the farmers themselves have to take on the burden and risk of disposing of the dead bird carcasses in a timely and safe way.
On October 13th, the NC Division of Employment Security announced the approval of 20 North Carolina counties for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. The following counties were approved, although more counties may be added at a later date: Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Dare, Edgecombe, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Nash, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Wayne and Wilson. This program is available for individuals who are prevented from working due to the hurricane, including farmers who are prevented from performing their normal tasks due to storm damage. This includes not being able to farm because they are cleaning up damage.