Help available to farmers who suffered losses due to pandemic
Local farmers and agricultural producers directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for financial assistance through the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, according to State Reps. Karen Engleman, R-Georgetown, and Steve Davisson, R-Salem.
Engleman said the initiative is providing $16 billion in direct relief payments for those in the agriculture industry experiencing income losses as a result of decreased demand for their products.
“Agriculture has played a critical role in our local and state economies for a long time,” Engleman said. “This relief could help farmers weather the storm, and I encourage our farmers to consider looking into the program before it is too late.”
To be eligible for assistance, producers of agricultural commodities must have experienced at least a 5% price decline or had losses due to market supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 and face additional significant market costs.
Davisson said eligible products include specialty and non-specialty crops, wool, livestock and dairy.
“The demand for certain products has dipped due to the pandemic, and many of our farmers have taken a hit,” Davisson said. “It’s important this direct relief is provided to our hard-working neighbors so they can continue feeding the nation.”
Applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program are open through Aug. 28 and available through the Farm Service Agency at local USDA Service Centers. For more information including eligibility requirements and finding local service centers, visit farmers.gov/cfap.
Additionally, the USDA is supporting agricultural producers by purchasing $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat to be distributed to food banks, community and faith-based organizations and other nonprofits that serve those in need.