Recognizing that recovery from the drought that affected much of the farm belt will be a lengthy process, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack this week announced the scheduling of four regional meetings that will outline available resources to assist with local, regional and state recovery efforts.
The meetings will be coordinated through area partners, such as universities or business groups and state agencies and will be invitational and regional in scope. Specific details will be announced later, but the meetings will be kicked off in Omaha, Neb., on Oct. 9, with meetings to follow in Ohio, Colorado and Arkansas.
The meetings will assess current and emerging drought recovery issues. USDA, in partnership with other federal agencies, will work with local government, community and business leaders, regional planning organizations, and economic and state development and agriculture organizations to explore issues ranging from infrastructure challenges to development and financing needs, attempting to look at the total recovery picture for the region.
USDA has designated all or parts of 39 states as natural disaster areas this year.