Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday directed $26 million in federal CARES Act funds to help state agriculture producers weather the financial storm of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Alabama Agriculture Stabilization Program will process grants to help farmers, cattlemen, nursery growers catfish and poultry producers and others in Alabama’s $70 billion agriculture industry.
“Due to COVID-19, numerous farms and processing facilities have struggled to remain open and sell their products,” Ivey said in a news release. “Establishing the Alabama Agriculture Stabilization Program is not only the right thing to do to protect our farmers, but it also key to stabilizing Alabama’s economy.”
The program will be administered by Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate. Allocations from the program include:
- Direct Payment Business Stabilization Grants to Cattle Producers – $10.5 million
- Meat Processing Plant Reimbursement Program – $1.5 million
- Poultry Farmer Stabilization Grant Program – $4 million
- Catfish Processor Reimbursement Program – $500,000
- Fruit & Vegetable Processor Reimbursement Program – $500,000
- State Supplemental CFAP Grant Program – $8 million
- Nursery Grower Reimbursement Program – $1 million
Pate said Alabama’s food supply chain continues to be “safe, abundant and sustainable” despite the challenges farmers face.
“I want to thank Governor Ivey for her continued support of Alabama agriculture and for providing much needed assistance to farmers and processors adversely effected by COVID-19,” Pate said.
Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell thanked Ivey and Pate for their attention to Alabama’s producers during the ongoing pandemic.
“We will continue to work closely with Commissioner Pate and the Department of Revenue to provide details on how to apply for assistance as soon as they become available,” Parnell said. “Gov. Ivey and the commissioner are committed to making this process as fast and simple as possible for our farmers.”