Today, United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue approved Gov. Reynolds request for a Secretarial disaster declaration for Benton, Boone, Cedar, Clinton, Dallas, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hardin, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story, and Tama Counties. 

In accordance with the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, 24 additional counties were designated contiguous natural disaster counties, including: Adair, Audubon, Black Hawk, Buchanan, Butler, Carroll, Cass, Delaware, Dubuque, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Iowa, Jackson, Keokuk, Louisa, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Muscatine, Warren, Washington, Webster, and Wright. 

“I want to thank President Trump, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and the entire administration for their continued support for Iowa’s derecho recovery,” said Gov. Reynolds. “This designation by Secretary Perdue extends a low-interest lifeline to farmers affected by this devastating storm in the 42 counties considered primary and contiguous natural disaster areas.” 

A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguous to such primary counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), including FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have 8 months from the date of a disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. 

Governor Reynolds and Lt. Governor Adam Gregg joined U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Perdue, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig for an aerial tour of crop and structural damage caused by the recent storm and ongoing drought. The flight was part of a tour hosted by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship featuring conservation and innovation in Iowa agriculture.

“Today we visited with farmers and leaders of the ag community about what else we can do going forward so our farmers can come back stronger than ever,” Gov. Reynolds continued. “I want to commend the continued coordination and collaboration between various state, local and federal officials involved throughout the derecho recovery process.”