State allocates federal funds under CARES law to farm programs struggling due to COVID-19
DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) – Governor Reynolds announced on Tuesday that the state is allocating approximately $ 100 million in federal CARES legislation to several farm programs in light of the impact of COVID-19 on farmers and the agricultural industries of Iowa.
According to a press release from the governor’s office, the state is making the following allocations:
· $ 60 million – Iowa Livestock Producer Relief Fund
Using the existing infrastructure of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Small Business Assistance Program, this program will provide grants of up to $ 10,000 to eligible producers of pork, beef, chicken, turkey, dairy, fish or mutton to serve as working capital to stabilize ranchers. (Administered by IEDA)
· $ 15.5 million – State subsidy program for biofuels
· Biofuel producers have not been allowed to benefit from support under other parts of the CARES Act; this program will provide relief to Iowa ethanol and biodiesel producers based on gallons produced. Grants will also be awarded under IEDA’s existing Small Business Relief Program and are capped at a maximum grant of $ 750,000 per producer. (Administered by IEDA)
· $ 7 million – Retail Renewable Fuels Recovery Program
· Previously announced, this funding supports a program that helps expand the fuel delivery infrastructure for higher blend renewable fuels, including E15 or greater and B11 or greater. (Administered by IDALS)
· $ 6 million – Iowa Beginning Farmer Debt Relief Fund
COVID-19 has had a disproportionately negative impact on large numbers of beginning farmers in Iowa, creating the potential for longer-term generational damage to Iowa agriculture. This program will provide eligible entry-level farmers with a long-term debt service payment of up to $ 10,000, payable directly to their lender. (Administered by IEDA)
· $ 2 million – Meat Processing Development and Expansion Program
· Designed to assist small-scale meat processors, this program focuses on expanding processing capacity across the state to meet the demand for protein. (Administered by IDALS)
· $ 500,000 – Agricultural Products and Protein Program
This innovative program is designed to help Iowa’s specialty agricultural producers and the schools that purchase them. In addition to helping local fruit and vegetable growers increase their capacity, it provides grants to schools that purchase produce and other local crops and sources of protein. (Administered by IDALS)
· Up to $ 9 Million – Iowa Elimination Assistance Program
The disruption of the meat supply chain due to COVID-19 has forced producers to euthanize and eliminate livestock due to lack of market access. This program, initially announced in May, provided for direct payments to producers to recover these expenses. (Administered by IDALS)
“This has been a tough year for the farming community,” Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig said. “I am grateful that Governor Reynolds has been a strong advocate for the farmers and agribusinesses of our state. The programs funded by the CARES Act will help our farmers, renewable fuel retailers and producers, and small-scale meat processors respond to market disruptions and continue on the road to recovery.
Applications for programs administered by the IEDA begin August 31 at iowabusinessrecovery.com.
And applications for programs administered by IDALS begin August 24 at iowaagriculture.gov/grants.
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