Iowa Farm Bureau statement on CARES Act funding for agricultural relief
The following statement may be attributed to Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Craig Hill:
“The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) applauds Gov. Kim Reynolds’ assistance and focus on agriculture with the CARES Act funding,” said Craig Hill, a Warren County crop and livestock farmer and IFBF president. “This has been a very difficult year in Iowa agriculture. Farmers are battling low prices and negative margins, the effects of the pandemic and the August 10 derecho, which devastated crops and battered farms across a wide swath of Iowa. This assistance through the CARES Act will help farm families as they work to rebuild and recover. We are especially pleased that Gov. Reynolds included $60 million for the Iowa Livestock Producer Relief Fund as well as assistance for beginning farmers and the state’s biofuel industry.”
Below is a link to Governor Reynolds' CARES Act funding announcement and a listing of how the approximately $100 million in funding will be allocated:
- $60 million -- Iowa Livestock Producer Relief Fund -- Using the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) existing small business relief program infrastructure, this program 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. (Administered by IEDA)
- $15.5 million -- State Biofuel Grant Program -- Biofuels producers were excluded from receiving aid under other parts of the CARES Act; this program will provide relief to those Iowa ethanol and biodiesel producers based on gallons produced. Grants will also be awarded through IEDA’s existing small business relief program and are capped at a maximum grant of $750,000 per producer. (Administered by IEDA)
- $7 million -- Renewable Fuel Retail Recovery Program -- Announced previously, this funding supports a program that helps expand retail fueling infrastructure for higher blend renewable fuels, including E15 or higher & B11 or higher. (Administered by IDALS)
- $6 million -- Iowa Beginning Farmer Debt Relief Fund-- COVID-19 has negatively and disproportionately impacted a large number of beginning farmers in Iowa, creating the potential for longer-term generational damage to Iowa agriculture. This program will provide eligible beginning farmers with a long-term debt service payment of up to $10,000, to be paid directly to their lender. (Administered by IEDA)
- $2 million -- Meat Processing Development and Expansion Program -- Designed to aid small meat processors, this program is focused on expanding processing capacity across the state to meet protein demand. (Administered by IDALS)
- $500,000 -- Farm Produce and Protein Program -- This innovative program is designed to help specialty ag producers in Iowa as well as the schools that purchase them. In addition to supporting local growers of fruits and vegetables to expand their capacity, it provides grants to schools that buy produce and other local crops and protein sources. (Administered by IDALS)
- Up to $9 million -- Iowa Disposal Assistance Program -- The disruption to the meat supply chain due to COVID-19 forced producers to euthanize and dispose of livestock due to lack of market access. This program, announced initially in May, provided direct payments to producers to recoup those expenses. (Administered by IDALS)
Producers can apply for IEDA-administered programs at iowabusinessrecovery.com beginning on Aug. 31, 2020 and can apply for IDALS-administered programs at iowaagriculture.gov/grants beginning Aug. 24.
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