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Commissioner Miller, State Legislators to Tour Area Devastated by Deadly Tornado in Van, Texas (5/17/2015)

AUSTIN – Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller will travel to Van, Texas, on Monday, May 18, to survey the area devastated by last week’s deadly tornado. State Sen. Bob Hall and state Rep. Dan Flynn will accompany Commissioner Miller on the trip. The three elected officials will meet with residents and local leaders to determine how the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) can best assist the people of Van in their recovery efforts.

“My prayers go out to the people of Van and those who have lost friends and family in this tragedy,” Commissioner Miller said. “I want to acknowledge the efforts of everyone — the emergency personnel, volunteers, Mayor Dean Stone and County Judge Don Kirkpatrick — who worked to immediately mobilize aid and begin the rebuilding process. Texans are strong people, and I know the folks who have been devastated by this natural disaster will come back stronger than ever.”

TDA works to assist rural communities during crisis situations through various programs and grants like the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). Funded through the Texas Community Development Block Grant program, DRF provides grant funds to communities to help alleviate the effects of natural disasters through debris removal, infrastructure repairs and improvements.

TDA’s Office of Rural Affairs is in contact with officials from Van to provide immediate assistance to those in need. Additionally, the State of Texas Agriculture Relief (STAR) Fund is available to assist farmers and ranchers with agricultural disaster relief efforts including rebuilding fences and restoring operations. STAR Funds are available in areas where a state of disaster declaration has been issued.

If you or someone you know has been affected by a disaster, you can apply for assistance through the STAR Fund by contacting TDA’s Grants Office at Should you wish to make a donation to the STAR Fund to help Texans in need, visit TDA’s website at  

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