Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food
Chapter 5. Farmer Major Drought, Flood, and Hurricane Disaster Assistance
5/21/2022

Chapter 5. Farmer Major Drought, Flood, and Hurricane Disaster Assistance.

§ 3.2-500. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Farmer" means any person who derives at least 75 percent of his gross income from a farming operation in the Commonwealth as reported on his federal income tax forms the previous year, or a farmer who receives or is eligible to receive a federal loan and who owns or leases land that would be eligible for special tax assessments pursuant to Article 4 (§ 58.1-3229 et seq.) of Chapter 32 of Title 58.1. It shall not be necessary for any locality to adopt an ordinance pursuant to § 58.1-3231 in order to effectuate the provisions of this section relating to special tax assessments.

"Major disaster" means any hurricane, flood, or drought that would warrant a disaster declaration request by the Governor pursuant to the provisions of Section 301 of Public Law 93-288, 42 U.S.C. § 5141.

1978, c. 837, § 3.1-22.17; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-501. Declaration by Governor.

The provisions of this chapter shall be effective from the time that the Governor makes a request pursuant to Section 301 of Public Law 93-288, 42 U.S.C. § 5141, until the Governor declares that the effects of the disaster have been abated.

1978, c. 837, § 3.1-22.16; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-502. Administration.

The Commissioner shall establish administrative procedures necessary to give effect to this chapter including the adoption of regulations.

1978, c. 837, § 3.1-22.21; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-503. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2016, c. 588, cl. 10, effective October 1, 2016.

§ 3.2-504. Loans.

The Governor or his designee may approve a loan to any farmer who has suffered the effects of a major disaster upon the recommendation of the Commissioner and subject to the following terms and conditions:

1. The assistance provided for in this section shall not be extended unless the farmer has applied for and received approval for a loan exceeding the amount requested pursuant hereto from any federal agency providing disaster relief loans. Upon approval of a loan by such federal agency, the Governor or his designee may approve a loan not to exceed $10,000.

2. The loan shall be available only for operating expenses for the farming operation.

3. No interest shall be charged for the loan.

4. Repayment shall be made within one year or upon receipt of loan funds from any federal agency providing disaster relief, whichever is sooner. The Department may require the farmer to provide sufficient security or to make provision for direct payment from federal lending agencies of the entire amount of the loan made pursuant to this chapter as a condition of granting the loan.

5. A maximum of $10,000 may be loaned any one farmer. The Governor at his discretion may reduce or increase the maximum amount of the loan.

6. The availability of loans provided for in this section shall be based on and subject to the moneys accumulated in the Farmers Major Disaster Fund established in § 3.2-506.

1978, c. 837, § 3.1-22.18; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-505. Emergency services.

A. The Commissioner may develop and initiate programs of general relief to farmers affected by major disasters and to expend moneys from the Farmers Major Disaster Fund in order to implement such programs. Programs created pursuant hereto shall include but not be limited to the following:

1. Programs to assist farmers in their feed needs including the supplying of feed at cost.

2. Programs to provide supplemental manpower to those state and federal agencies involved in relief efforts to aid farmers.

B. Any locality may develop and initiate a grant program to supply emergency financial assistance to farmers in the locality to offset a portion of any operating losses resulting from a major disaster as declared by the Governor pursuant to § 44-146.17.

1978, c. 837, § 3.1-22.19; 2000, c. 16; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-506. Farmers Major Disaster Fund established.

There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Farmers Major Disaster Fund, hereafter referred to as "the Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All moneys allocated by the Governor from appropriations made to the Governor for disaster planning and operations pursuant to the declaration of the state disaster under Chapter 3.2 (§ 44-146.13 et seq.) of Title 44 shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purposes of emergency services programs pursuant to § 3.2-505 and all loans made pursuant to this chapter. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the Commissioner.

1978, c. 837, § 3.1-22.20; 2008, c. 860.