September 24, 2017

Ag Commissioner Sid Miller calls for donations to STAR Fund after Hurricane Harvey

FILE PHOTO (Not current)

AUSTIN (August 31, 2017) –  As residents along the Texas coast begin cleanup efforts after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is calling on others to donate to the State of Texas Agriculture Relief Fund (STAR Fund) and lend a helping hand to those ag producers devastated by this historic storm.

The STAR Fund was created to collect monetary contributions from private individuals and businesses to assist farmers and ranchers in responding to and recovering from natural disasters. Funds may be used to rebuild perimeter fences, pay for livestock burial costs, restore operations and assist with other agricultural relief efforts — basically anything that isn’t covered under federal farm assistance or insurance programs. Every single dollar donated to the STAR Fund is disbursed to ag producers in the disaster areas.

“Hurricane Harvey caused devastation and losses like we’ve never seen before in our lifetime,” Commissioner Miller said. “Farmers and ranchers throughout the Coastal Bend and along the Texas coast are trying to pick up the pieces and figure out what to do next to rebuild. That’s where the STAR Fund comes into play and why it was created — to help folks out with things federal money and insurance won’t cover.”

As farmers and ranchers begin to assess the damage and undertake cleanup efforts, Commissioner Miller is encouraging them to apply for assistance through the STAR Fund. Any ag producer in the 54 counties under Gov. Abbott’s disaster declaration has until Dec. 27 to turn in an application for funding.

“This fund was created to help Texas farmers and ranchers get back on their feet and get back to the livelihood of producing the food and fiber we all need,” Commissioner Miller said. “Everyone depends on agriculture at least three times a day, and now it’s our turn to let them depend on us. God bless you for helping, and God bless the Texas farmers and ranchers who were affected by this catastrophe.”

Donations from across the country have been pouring in this week, but there will be a great need for much more funding than is currently available to assist with these record damages. Pooling individual donations into a larger fund like the STAR fund means we are able to more effectively help those in need.

Farmers and ranchers can apply for assistance through the STAR Fund by contacting TDA’s Grants Office at Grants@TexasAgriculture.gov or by visiting the STAR Fund web page.

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