After President Obama denied Iowa Governor Terry Branstad's request for assistance with the bird flu. Senator Ernst hosted a conference call saying she's very disappointed disaster assistance was not granted. Nearly two-thirds of all birds infected and destroyed because of bird flu are from Iowa.
She says there is some help for producers though, "We do have the indemnification fund that exists out there. We do believe that right now the funds that are available will be okay enough to cover what we have experienced in Iowa and the other states. Should that happen to change or different results come back from USDA, then we'll address that situation at that time but again, Iowans will persevere. We'll make it through this difficult time."
Ernst says as far as she knows, the president's assistance denial is a final decision. In the mean time, farmers will be using their own dollars for the costs.
She says, "They will be fronting a lot of their own dollars in order to get their facilities cleaned before the USDA is able to come back in and assist and repay them for any work that was done. So, we can work on that end but as far as I know, it is a done deal when the president denied the disaster declaration."