Sen. Rick Scott and Colleagues to USDA: Send Relief Supplies to Florida Farmers Affected by Hurricane Ian

October 18, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott led his colleagues in a letter to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting that USDA expedite all available resources to ensure Florida’s farmers and ranchers can recover from the impacts of Hurricane Ian. Senator Marco Rubio and Representatives Kat Cammack, Greg Steube, María Elvira Salazar, Carlos Giménez and Vern Buchanan also signed the letter.


Last Friday, Senator Scott joined Senator Marco Rubio in a letter requesting that USDA designate areas of Florida as Primary Natural Disaster Areas so farmers and ranchers recovering from Hurricane Ian can have access to emergency credit and loans.


Read the full letter HERE or below.


October 18, 2022


The Honorable Tom Vilsack


U.S. Department of Agriculture

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20250


Dear Secretary Vilsack:


Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida late last month, bringing with it catastrophic winds, torrential rainfall, and deadly storm surge that caused tremendous damage through much of the state. Hurricane Ian’s destruction has impacted many farmers and ranchers that are now left with ruined crops and damaged facilities. Given the tremendous importance these hardworking Floridians have in feeding families in our state and across America, we are asking for expedited recovery efforts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ensure that Florida’s farmers and ranchers can recover from Hurricane Ian’s impacts and return their operations to pre-storm levels of production as quickly as possible. As you know, Florida farmers and ranchers provide the U.S. with high quality products during critical winter months, and the timing of Hurricane Ian’s devastating impacts will have serious consequences for Florida’s specialty crop industry. The USDA has long been committed to the mission of “do right and feed everyone.” There is a clear opportunity and responsibility to “do right” by Florida farmers and ranchers, and send all available resources to expedite Hurricane Ian disaster recovery.


We would like to know what steps the USDA has already taken and plans on taking to ensure that Florida farms and ranches are back to full operation. Therefore, we request written responses to the following questions:


  1. What actions has the USDA taken to help Florida’s agricultural industry assess the damage caused by Hurricane Ian and recover from those impacts?
  2. What aid programs operated by the USDA are available for Florida farmers and ranchers to access relief from the impacts of Hurricane Ian?
    1. What outreach has the USDA done to inform Florida farmers and ranchers of those available aid programs?
  3. Where can businesses go to see what USDA disaster recovery programs are available to them, and how they can receive assistance?


We look forward to your prompt response.