Swanson talks statewide disaster declaration

Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood and the Illinois Farm Bureau are among those calling on Governor Pritzker to make a disaster declaration for the state in order to help farmers plagued by both the wet weather and the ongoing strife in world trade. Currently, the Governor is looking at making declarations on behalf of specific counties. State Representative Dan Swanson points out, however, that a county by county declaration would not be enough to help. “With Senator LaHood, and I think the bigger discussion we’re having with the governor is – we need to declare the state as a whole as opposed to cherry-picking different counties,” Swanson said. “We need to look at the whole state because: if Henry County is declared a disaster area, farmers in that area – if they live near Bureau County, do business with Bureau FS which would not be a part of that list.” He added that there’s a “big picture” and there’s two ways to go about it: look at Illinois’ small businesses who could use federal support through the Small Business Administration and farmers’ support would come through the FSA offices. Governor Pritzker is said to be weighing all options while negotiating with the Farm Services Administration among others before making a decision to make a disaster declaration.