Governor Ricketts hosts round table with Nebraska Agriculture groups

On Monday, Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts and other Agriculture leaders held a round table meeting to address flooding concerns.

The meeting was an opportunity to hear concerns first hand from those affected by flooding.

It was also a way for officials to spread the word about flood relief programs.

The two hour meeting included a question and answer session and a lot of listening and note taking.

Now’s the time to listen and so I would be happy to hear what you feel, as representatives of producers needing assistance across the state of Nebraska,” said USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach.

During the meeting, governor Ricketts called the recent flooding “the largest, most widespread disaster in Nebraska history.”

So far, 80 out of 93 counties in the state, or about 85%, have declared an emergency.

Ricketts says the road to recovery will be long and difficult.

“This will test our Nebraska grit. We will be working on this for awhile. The road to recovery is going to seem like it’s going to take a long time, but i know we will get through this together as Nebraskans and that we will build the state bigger, better and stronger than ever before,” said Ricketts.

Recently, a federal disaster was requested by Ricketts and approved by the U.S. government.

The federal emergency management agency, or FEMA, has been called in to help provide assistance to those affected.

“FEMA is going to be coming up here, and they already have about 60 people in the state, and that number is going to grow quickly this week,” said Ricketts.

There are two types of resources available; public and individual assistance.

If you live in one of the nine counties that qualify for federal aid (Butler, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Niemaha, Sarpy, Saunders and Washington county), one thing you will want to do, is document everything damaged.

“Producers who have lost livestock, again, document, document, document. We’re asking you to photograph the losses,” said Nebraska DEQ Director Jim Macy.

USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach says he will be traveling around flooded areas today and tomorrow to see first hand, the damage that’s been caused.

If you are interested in learning more, there are two toll free hotlines available to farmers and ranchers affected by flooding.

The numbers are: 800-831-0550 or 877-253-2603.

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