Goshen. U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand have announced that the Department of Agriculture has approved a natural disaster designation for 43 upstate New York counties that suffered heavy rains and severe flooding during the 2019 farming season. Farmers in Orange are also eligible for assistance. This designation allows communities hurt by extreme weather to access certain federal assistance, such as emergency loans and other aid programs, from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to help recover their losses. “After weathering a brutal farming season last year, the USDA’s disaster designation will provide much needed assistance to farmers and growers throughout upstate New York,” Schumer said in the press release detailing the funding. "New York has a strong farming tradition," said Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, "and it is past time for our farmers to get the help they need to recover.” USDA offers a variety of programs and services to help communities, farmers, ranchers and businesses recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding and other natural disasters. More information may be found fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/index.