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Fried Asks Biden To Let Those In Timber Industry Qualify For USDA Disaster Relief Programs

Rows of broken trees.
Ryan Dailey
Florida's Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is asking the Biden administration to expand crop insurance to include timber.

In 2018, Hurricane Michael ravaged the panhandle's timber industry with category five winds, causing more than $1.8 billion in losses. While the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) gave block grants to help the state's timber industry, Fried wants the agency to do more. She's asking the Biden administration to work with Congress to expand crop insurance to include timber. She is also requesting the administration begin talks with the USDA to allow those in the timber industry to qualify for disaster relief programs.

The timber issue is part of a 31-page list of asks Fried's office has submitted to the federal government. In it, Fried proposes changing federal law to make marijuana legal for adult use and for the administration to ban oil drilling in Florida permanently, among other issues.

"We have a lot that needs to get done in Florida, and we need a strong partnership with the president, the administration, and the federal government to deliver results to Floridians," Fried says.

Since November, Fried says she's been communicating with the Biden-Harris transition team and other federal agencies.

Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.