The Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation (AFAF) is accepting applications through Nov. 30 from farmers who suffered losses related to Hurricane Sally.
AFAF and Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell said the Foundation established a Hurricane Sally Relief Fund last month in response to calls from farmers and businesses who wanted to help their south Alabama neighbors.
“When disaster strikes, I am always impressed by the people of Alabama and their giving spirits,” Parnell said. “As we started receiving photos of damaged crops, barns and equipment, we also started getting questions from people about what they could do to help our farmers, and that’s why we’ve established this fund.”
The relief fund is designed to help offset farmer losses not covered by a farmowner policy, crop insurance or disaster relief programs. An independent committee will evaluate the applications based on need and award grants in December.
“Most of our farmers had as good a crop as we’ve ever seen, and it was so close to harvest for cotton, soybeans, peanuts and pecans,” Parnell said. “It’s devastating to lose a crop that had so much promise.”
The AFAF Hurricane Sally Relief Fund collected almost $30,000 in the first three weeks after opening, including a $25,000 donation from Alabama Ag Credit.
Parnell said AFAF is reaching out to county Farmers Federations, other state Farm Bureau organizations and private businesses to further strengthen the fund before the Nov. 30 application deadline.
The application for Hurricane Sally assistance and a link for contributions to the fund are available at AlabamaFarmersFoundation.org.
Donations also may be made by check payable to Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation at P.O. Box 11000, Montgomery, AL 36191. Please include “hurricane relief fund” in the check memo line. All contributions are tax deductible.
Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores as a Category 2 storm Sept. 16 with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. Official reports from the National Weather Service show more than 20 inches of rain in Baldwin County. Heavy rains and high winds damaged crops, structures and equipment from Mobile County in the southwest through Russell County in the east.
By Jeff Helms, Alabama Farmers Federation