Written by Jeff Helms
MONTGOMERY, Ala., Date — The Alabama Farmers Federation welcomed today’s announcement from Gov. Kay Ivey of $26 million for farmers, ranchers and agricultural operations hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We appreciate Gov. Ivey and Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate working with our members and other stakeholders to assess losses resulting from market disruption and identify urgent needs for stabilizing Alabama’s agricultural economy,” said Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “The Federation’s staff, county leaders and state commodity committees were instrumental in developing a plan that addresses farmers’ immediate needs while strengthening agricultural infrastructure for the future.”
The Alabama Agricultural Stabilization Program package includes:
• 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 Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Grants — $8 million
• Nursery Grower Reimbursement Program — $1 million
The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) will administer assistance programs for farmers and agribusinesses. Application information and deadlines will be announced by the department soon. Relief payments will be issued through the Alabama Department of Revenue. Registration with the State of Alabama Accounting and Resource System (STAARS) may be required for eligible producers and processors to receive payment.
“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.”
The Alabama agricultural assistance package is made possible by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provided the state more than $1.8 billion to offset public and private costs associated with the pandemic.
The Federation was joined by the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, Alabama Poultry & Egg Association, Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Alabama Agribusiness Council, and numerous individuals and businesses in submitting funding requests for the governor’s consideration.