Iowa Allocates $100 Million in CARES Act Funding to Support Agriculture
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds allocated approximately $100 million of federal CARES Act relief funds for a range of agricultural programs to offset the impact of COVID-19 on farmers, producers and agricultural industries. The allocations include $60 million for the Iowa Livestock Producer Relief Fund, which will provide grants of up to $10,000 to eligible producers of pork, beef, chicken, turkeys, dairy, fish, or sheep to serve as working capital to stabilize livestock producers. Meanwhile, the Iowa Beginning Farmer Debt Relief Fund received $6 million to provide eligible beginning farmers with a long-term debt service payment of up to $10,000. Two million in funding for the Meat Processing Development and Expansion Program will aid small meat processors in expanding processing capacity across the state to meet protein demand. Additionally, the Farm Produce and Protein Program provides grants to schools that buy produce and other local crops and protein sources from Iowa specialty crop producers. The programs are beginning to accept applications.