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STAR Fund - Helping Texas Farmers and Ranchers Recover from Disaster

Background 
Many of our fellow Texans are in need of a helping hand. Texas Agriculture farmers, rancher, producers and agribusiness owners are rebuilding and working towards picking up the pieces after devastating natural disasters. As these disasters continue to impact Texas farmers and ranchers, the need for donations continues. 

The Fund 
The STAR Fund (State of Texas Agriculture Relief Fund) was created solely with monetary donations from private individuals and entities to fund disaster recovery efforts. STAR Fund money may be used to assist farmers, ranchers and agribusiness owners in rebuilding fences, restoring operations and paying for other agricultural disaster relief. If you’d like to help folks impacted by the wildfire, floods or tornadoes, consider making a donation to the STAR Fund. The Program is designed to provide relief to Texas agricultural entities adversely impacted by natural disasters.

Assistance
We are Texans, and when disaster strikes, we rise up to help our neighbors. The STAR Fund is one way to do that. TDA is offering a cost share (50% of eligible expense) to qualified agricultural producers not to exceed $4,000 per applicant. Example:  A producer would need to submit documentation for $2,000 of eligible expenses to receive $1,000 in reimbursement. STAR Fund money may be used to assist in rebuilding fences, restoring operations and paying for other agricultural disaster relief costs needed to rebuild their agricultural operations. If the applicant's county is included in the Texas Governor’s declaration of disaster, they have 90 days from the date of his proclamation to turn in an application.

 “Every day, we depend on farmers and ranchers to provide our families with the healthy food and warm clothes that sustains our lives, and now is the time for Texas producers to lean on us,” Commissioner Miller said. “This is not a hand out, rather it’s a helping hand. I hope people will take advantage of these funds if you need them.”

Funds are not intended to compensate individuals or businesses for losses incurred, but to assist agriculture producers in cost-sharing some of the unexpected expenses associated with the repair or replacement of items necessary for their agricultural operation. See the application for more information. Verification of the damage caused by the disaster is required prior to TDA disbursing funds. Please include any pictures, certifications or other documentation of the damage.

Eligibility
An eligible entity is an agriculture business/operation/ranch/farm located in a county declared a disaster by the Texas Governor. Applicants should submit documentation for agricultural related expenses not paid for by insurance or other governmental sources for costs directly related to rebuild from the natural disaster. Applicant must demonstrate that expenses incurred were related to agriculture production and directly caused by the disaster. If an entity/business/operation/ranch/farm is owned by more than one person, only one application may be submitted. An entity/business/operation/ranch/farm is eligible for only one single award every 24 months, regardless of the number of owners.

Agriculture business means - a business that is or proposes to be engaged in producing, processing, marketing, or exporting an agricultural product.
 
Agricultural product means - an agricultural, horticultural, viticultural, or vegetable product, bees, honey, fish or other seafood, planting seed, livestock, a livestock product, a forestry product, poultry, or a poultry product. Person means one property/entity/owner.

How to submit?
Submit all required paperwork to one of the following three options:
1. Email: STARFund@TexasAgriculture.gov
2.Mailing Address: P.O. Box 12847, Austin, Texas 78711
3.Physical Address: 1700 N. Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701



  • Funding Assistance Contact information

Kat Neilson
Grant Specialist
(512) 463-6695


STARFund@TexasAgriculture.gov


 

Donations

To make a donation via check please send it to the 
following address: 

STAR Fund
Texas Department of Agriculture
1700 North Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701


To Donate by PayPal


Under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and Texas Agriculture Code, TDA is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions, gifts, grants and donations


100% of the donations collected will be distributed to those who incurred losses related to natural disasters.

 
 
Current Disaster Declarations

Available Assistance
1. June 21, 2018 Disaster Declaration related to severe weather and flooding: Aransas, Cameron, Hidalgo, Nueces, San Patricio and Willacy 
Application Deadline,  Thursday October 25, 2018 by 5:00 PM central time.

2. September 14, 2018 Disaster Declaration related to flooding.
Application Deadline,  Friday, January 25, 2019 by 5:00 PM central time.

3. September 28. 2018 Disaster Declaration related to severe weather and flooding
Application Deadline,  Friday, February 8, 2019 by 5:00 PM central time.

4. October 16. 2018 Disaster Declaration related to severe weather and flooding
Application Deadline,  Friday, March 1, 2019 by 5:00 PM central time.


Application materials - click to download the application



CLOSED
August 23, 2017, Disaster Declaration related to Hurricane Harvey
Application deadline Wednesday, January 17, 2018 by 5:00 PM central time.


Other Resources


SBA - Disaster Loan Assistance
FSA - Disaster Assistance Program