The Farm Credit associations in Arkansas donated $13,000 to the Northeast Arkansas chapter of the American Red Cross to support flood relief efforts across the state.
Widespread flooding in late April killed five people and displaced hundreds of Arkansans. True to its mission, the American Red Cross was one of the first agencies to mobilize and offer assistance to persons in affected areas. The Red Cross served more than 7,500 meals, distributed nearly 1,700 clean-up kits and provided 1,000 overnight shelter stays.
The flooding has created long-term issues for some farmers. Arkansas Division of Agriculture experts estimate that more than 361,000 acres of farmland has been lost for the 2017 growing season. Rice production accounts for half of the lost acreage. Eric Wailes with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture estimates row crop losses at $175 million.
With offices in some of the hardest hit areas of eastern Arkansas, Farm Credit Midsouth CEO James McJunkins took the lead in organizing state-wide Farm Credit support.
“The devastating impact of these floods was simply overwhelming”.
“Our employees live and work in the rural communities we serve which makes this disaster very personal for us,” McJunkins said.
The four Farm Credit associations in Arkansas have $3.3 billion in combined assets. Farm Credit Midsouth, AgHeritage Farm Credit Services, Delta Agricultural Credit Association, and Farm Credit of Western Arkansas support rural communities and agriculture across the state.
The Farm Credit System additionally supports the rural communities of Arkansas through CoBank agribusiness cooperative loans which provide essential infrastructure services. Combined, Farm Credit organizations provide more than $4 billion in loans, leases and related services in Arkansas and returned $25.8 million to their customer-owners, and the Arkansas economy, this year.