Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has 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.
“Iowa is at the foundation of our global food supply chain and the epicenter of the renewable fuels industry,” said Gov. Reynolds. “COVID-19 and a devastating derecho dealt a major blow to everything from the demand for ethanol to the supply of meat on grocery store shelves. But just as important are the livelihoods of thousands of Iowa farm families, agricultural industries and the communities they support. Today’s investment reflects the critical role Iowa’s ag industry has in our state’s overall economic recovery.”
The assistance includes $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. There is also $6 million allocated for beginning farmer assistance, $2.5 million for meat processors, and 500,000 for specialty crops.
For renewable fuel producers, $15.5 million will go to the State Biofuel Grant Program. Since 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 an existing small business relief program and are capped at a maximum grant of $750,000 per producer.