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USDA to Louisiana Flood Victims: We Are Here For You

U.S. Department of Agriculture Acting Under Secretary Farm and Foreign Agriculture Service Michael Scuse speaks with following an outreach event on the Mississippi River levee at Vidalia, LA, on Thursday, May 19, 2011. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Acting Under Secretary Farm and Foreign Agriculture Service Michael Scuse speaks with an area resident following an outreach event on the Mississippi River levee at Vidalia, LA, on Thursday, May 19, 2011. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

The levee along the Mississippi River was busy with activity on Thursday, May 19. USDA Under Secretaries for Rural Development, Dallas Tonsager, and the Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Service, Michael Scuse along with Rural Development Louisiana State Director Clarence W. Hawkins and other USDA agencies, Southern University and LSU Agricultural Centers personnel, Congressional offices representatives, other governmental and local entities came together for residents and concerned citizens on the levee of the Mississippi River in Vidalia, Louisiana.

USDA officials’ message was to assure the farmers, ranchers, business owners, and residents that they were available and ready to assist with problems that they might incur with the flooding situation in Louisiana. Along the levee is the Vidalia Riverfront Convention Center, which received funding from USDA Rural Development. Hesco baskets have been placed around the center to protect the building from future damage and pumps are in place to remove water as it seeps in.  “We are here for your interest”, said Hawkins, as he introduced Undersecretary Tonsager.  “The Obama Administration is working to provide assistance to the areas impacted by floods”, said Tonsager. They were encouraged to communicate with their local USDA offices and other agencies for assistance and guidance. “Our hearts go out to all affected by this situation”, said Scuse.

USDA Rural Development will continue to work together with all agencies to monitor and provide guidance and assistance as needed, as will the Farm Service Agency.  To learn more about disaster assistance click here.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Louisiana State Director Clarence W. Hawkins (right) explains to Undersecretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager (center), various aspects of the Mississippi River flooding in front of the levee they stand on in Vidalia, LA, on Thursday, May 19, 2011. Supporting the event production was Assistant to State Director Lee Jones (left). USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Louisiana State Director Clarence W. Hawkins (right) explains to Undersecretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager (center), various aspects of the Mississippi River flooding in front of the levee they stand on in Vidalia, LA, on Thursday, May 19, 2011. Supporting the event production was Assistant to State Director Lee Jones (left). USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

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