Lauer, Eberhart: Help available to farmers who suffered losses due to pandemic

Posted by: Lydia Kirschner  | Friday, June 12, 2020 11:03 am

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 Reps. Ryan Lauer (R-Columbus) and Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville).

Lauer 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.

"Many markets have been hit hard by the ongoing public health crisis, including our agriculture industry," Lauer said. "With disruptions in demand for products, some farmers are now suffering from related financial losses. This program will help provide relief to farmers who continue to feed our communities and beyond."

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. According to Eberhart, eligible products include specialty and non-specialty crops, wool, livestock and dairy.

"Farmers around the state have experienced financial losses as demand for products has decreased during the COVID-19 outbreak," Eberhart said. "These relief payments could help farmers make it through this tough time as our state continues to get back on track."

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. Ryan Lauer (R-Columbus) represents House District 59,
which includes portions of Bartholomew County.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) represents House District 57,
which includes Shelby County and portions of Bartholomew and Hancock counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.