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Puerto Rico's Farmers Rebound From Hurricane Maria, But Federal Funding Still Lacking

One year ago, Hurricane Maria swept over Puerto Rico, bringing 150 mph winds. Nearly 3,000 people died, homes and buildings were ruined and farms were destroyed all over the U.S. territory.

According to Luis Pinto, a farmer near Yabucoa, southeast of the capital San Juan, the sound of the wind screaming through the trees “felt like the hurricane was crying.” Plantain trees were flattened on Pinto’s farm. In all, the storms caused $300,000 in damage to his crops, cattle, fences and roads.

The federal farm bill authorizes a list of programs to help farmers rebuild after storms, droughts and even wildfires. For a recent episode of its podcast, On the Table, Harvest Public Media partner NET in Nebraska joined with the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN) to talk with farmers in Puerto Rico about the help they’ve received.

Read the FERN article here:  https://thefern.org/2018/09/a-year-after-hurricane-maria-puerto-ricos-farmers-claw-back/

And to listen to the On The Table podcast from NET, Nebraska’s PBS and NPR stations, choose:

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Grant Gerlock
Grant Gerlock is Harvest Public Media's reporter at NET News, where he started as Morning Edition host in 2008. He joined Harvest Public Media in July 2012. Grant has visited coal plants, dairy farms, horse tracks and hospitals to cover a variety of stories. Before going to Nebraska, Grant studied mass communication as a grad student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and completed his undergrad at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. He grew up on a farm in southwestern Iowa where he listened to public radio in the tractor, but has taken up city life in Lincoln, Neb.
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