June 15, 2011

Missouri Ag Disaster Relief Fund Announced; $150,000 Donated to Help Missouri Farmers

The Missouri Department of Agriculture recently announced an agriculture disaster relief fund to help Missouri farmers recover from severe storms, floods and tornadoes that have impacted thousands of families and businesses this year. The Missouri Agriculture Disaster Relief Fund will address the immediate needs of farm families, extend grants to non-profit organizations for infrastructure repair and clean up and help individuals or organizations with major disaster grants.

During a meeting on Tuesday, Monsanto presented Gov. Jay Nixon with the first contribution - a check for $100,000 for the agriculture disaster relief fund to help Missouri farmers. In addition, the Republic of China (Taiwan) has also contributed $50,000 to the disaster fund to help producers recover.

"Our state has seen great devastation this year where thousands of families have been impacted by severe weather and flooding. This new disaster relief fund will help Missouri farm families get back on their feet and begin rebuilding their homes, businesses and lives," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "We are grateful for the significant contributions made by Monsanto and the Republic of China (Taiwan) that will go towards keeping our state's agriculture industry resilient. It remains a priority of the Missouri Department of Agriculture and our partners to do everything we can to assist those devastated by natural disasters, now and into the future."

The Missouri Agriculture Disaster Relief Fund, administered by the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority, will offer assistance for the following:

  • Immediate need - This grant of $500 is available to Missouri farm families recovering from a natural disaster and is designed to help those most devastated by the disaster meet their most urgent needs. The grant may be used for household or agricultural purposes and is available on a first come, first serve basis as long as funding for this purpose is available. The farm family must have been directly impacted by a natural disaster and have suffered physical and/or economic loss.
  • Grants to organizations - Up to $5,000 is available for non-profit organizations, counties, municipalities and other political subdivisions for infrastructure repair, clean up or other projects that assist in recovery for the farm community.
  • Major Disaster Grant - Funding in amounts greater than $5,000 is available on a special needs basis. Any individual or organization may apply for these grants but organizations who can serve a large number of producers will be given priority.

"Missouri farmers are our state's frontline leaders in providing food, feed, fiber and fuel to our world. This year they have been especially hard hit by the natural disasters that have struck our state," said Brett Begemann, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for Monsanto Company. "Monsanto is donating $100,000 to the Missouri Agriculture Disaster Relief Fund to help farmers throughout Monsanto's home state as they re-build. We encourage other companies, farm organizations, farmers and the community at large to contribute to this worthy cause."

"On behalf of the government of the Republic of China, we are grieved by the loss of so many lives and we would like to extend our condolences to the families of the victims. Our thoughts are with you and the people of Missouri at this difficult time," Director General Jacqueline H. Liu of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Kansas City. "Taiwan and Missouri have enjoyed a long and lasting sister-state relationship and we will contribute $50,000 to the Missouri Agriculture Relief Fund to help ease the pain and suffering incurred by so many."

Those interested in donating to the fund can do so by electronic check or credit card by visiting http://MDA.mo.gov or http://AgriMissouri.com. Donations qualify as a charitable contribution under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. Applications for disaster relief funding can be accessed on http://MDA.mo.gov or http://AgriMissouri.com or contact the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority at (573) 751-2129 or masbda@mda.mo.gov.