Ohio County, Ky. (WEHT) — The road to recovery after December’s deadly tornadoes continues across Kentucky.
And today, state officials were in Ohio County, talking with local farmers still dealing with remnants from the storms.
“The tornado got the roof on about 200 feet of chicken houses, luckily we didn’t have birds. It wiped out three barns, a machinery shed, and got a couple tractors. But we got lucky. It didn’t get my home, and nobody was hurt,” said Joel Smith, a farmer in Ohio County.
Farmers like Smith still have a lot of work to do before planting season. But now, there is help.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner, Dr. Ryan Quarles, wanted to tell farmers the news in person today. He says helping the farmers hits home.
“I grew up on a Kentucky farm, on a cattle and tobacco operation, and we never had to experience a natural disaster on this scope. Once I heard the news, I knew I had to get down to western Kentucky to help out. Because when one of us hurts, we all hurt,” Quarles said.
Quarles says the tornado destroyed hundreds of acres of fencing, and farmers will likely deal with debris in fields throughout the planting season.
“Most insurance policies do not cover farm fencing. This is something we have had to learn together,” he said.
For farmers like Franklin Maden, this is a sigh of relief.
“We got about two miles of fence down,” Maden said.
Eligible farmers can now make purchases at local retail stores to help with storm damage repairs.
Qualifying farmers can receive up to $1,500 in credit to purchase needed supplies from participating farm retailers.
For more information, visit kcard.info/disaster-relief.