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U.S. Small Business Administration announces loans for farmers, businesses impacted by drought

The drought in our area is continuing to impact those in the agriculture industry, especially cattle farmers.

The lack of rain means pastures and feeding areas for the cattle aren’t growing as fast, so farmers are having to put in more hours at work and use hay they’ve had in storage.

“If you’ve not got enough backup to get you through the hard times you know if you were just starting out something like this could put you out of business,” cattle farmer Dr. Don Gardner said.

If you ask Dr. Gardner, the past few weeks haven’t been easy, no matter how long you’ve been in the business.

“Between the forest fire in the north end of the county and the dust, between the smoke and the dust, it was pretty hard to breathe around here,” Dr. Gardner said.

The Bedford County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to ask state and federal leaders to declare the county under a natural disaster for agriculture, in hopes it’s easier for farmers to get some emergency funds.

“All the agriculture sales from different commodities in Bedford is roughly about $20-25,000,000 a year, so it’s very significant,” Agricultural Extension Agent Scott Baker said. “It’s the largest land use in the county, and it’s very important not only environmentally but also economically.”

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced loans are available for farmers or businesses that the drought has negatively impacted. Those counties include Albemarle, Amherst, Nelson, and Rockbridge, as well as the contiguous counties of the following:

  • Alleghany,
  • Appomattox,
  • Augusta,
  • Bath,
  • Bedford,
  • Botetourt,
  • Buckingham,
  • Buena Vista,
  • Campbell,
  • Charlottesville,
  • Fluvanna,
  • Greene,
  • Lexington,
  • Louisa,
  • Lynchburg,
  • Orange,
  • Rockingham

Learn more about the loans by clicking here.


Source: WSLS News 10

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