Cook: Help available to farmers who suffered losses due to pandemic

Posted by: Andi TenBarge  | Friday, June 12, 2020

STATEHOUSE (June 12, 2020) — Local farmers and agricultural producers directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for financial assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, according to State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero).

Cook 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.

"Farmers serve a vital role in our state's economy as they help fuel our supply chains and provide Hoosiers with food to put on the table," Cook said. "There is no doubt they have felt the financial strain from this pandemic, and this assistance is available to help them push through as markets return to normal."

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. Eligible products include specialty and non-specialty crops, wool, livestock and dairy.

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 who serve those in need.

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State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) represents House District 32,

which includes all of Tipton County and portions of Hamilton,

Madison, Delaware, Howard and Grant counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.