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Rubio Leads Florida Delegation in Urging USDA to Declare Disaster for Florida Agriculture

Oct 14, 2022 | Press Releases

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) led bipartisan members of the Florida congressional delegation in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in support of the State of Florida’s request to declare a Disaster for Florida counties that were impacted by Hurricane Ian, and to make assistance available to growers whose crops were damaged or destroyed. 
 
U.S. Representatives Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Byron Donalds (R-FL), Scott Franklin (R-FL), María Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Bill Posey (R-FL), Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), Mike Waltz (R-FL), Kat Cammack (R-FL), Brian Mast (R-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Neal Dunn (R-FL), Greg Steube (R-FL), Val Demings (D-FL), Darren Soto (D-FL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Lois Frankel (D-FL), and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL) also signed the letter.

  • “Florida’s growers have a unique role in the American food economy, as Florida is one of the only locations in the United States where major agricultural production can occur in the winter and spring months.  Florida’s agriculture industry feeds more than one hundred million Americans who live along the eastern seaboard, when they otherwise do not have access to domestically-grown fresh food.  In order to support the growers who were affected by Hurricane Ian, and to ensure that they can recover from losses and continue their important service of feeding America, the expeditious approval of a disaster declaration is warranted and necessary in order to have a successful winter and spring harvest season.” 

 
Earlier this week… Rubio attended Florida Citrus Mutual’s Annual Citrus Crop Estimate to discuss post-Hurricane Ian assistance to growers. He also released details of an initial $33 billion major disaster supplemental spending measure, including nearly $3 billion for U.S. Department of Agriculture programs.  
 
The full text of the letter is below. 
 
Dear Secretary Vilsack:
 
We write in support of the State of Florida’s request for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to declare a Disaster for Florida counties that were impacted by Hurricane Ian, and to make assistance available to growers whose crops were damaged or destroyed. 
 
Florida’s growers have a unique role in the American food economy, as Florida is one of the only locations in the United States where major agricultural production can occur in the winter and spring months.  Florida’s agriculture industry feeds more than one hundred million Americans who live along the eastern seaboard, when they otherwise do not have access to domestically-grown fresh food.  In order to support the growers who were affected by Hurricane Ian, and to ensure that they can recover from losses and continue their important service of feeding America, the expeditious approval of a disaster declaration is warranted and necessary in order to have a successful winter and spring harvest season. 
 
As you know, Florida’s growers have been severely impacted by a range of challenges.  Your support for the State of Florida’s request would make meaningful impact for our growers, and assist their efforts in support of our food security and national security.
 
Thank you for your consideration.
 
Sincerely,