USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack Announces Additional Pandemic Relief PackageWed, 24 Mar 2021 16:46:48 CDT
New pandemic relief programs announced today by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is an effort to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions.
The new initiative—USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers—will reach a broader set of producers than in previous COVID-19 aid programs.
USDA is dedicating at least $6 billion toward the new programs.
The Department will also develop rules for new programs that will put a greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers, timber harvesters, as well as provide support for the food supply chain and producers of renewable fuel, among others.
Existing programs like the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will fall within the new initiative and, where statutory authority allows, will be refined to better address the needs of producers.
This is designed to encapsulate a set of decisions by the USDA to help those who might have been qualified but didn’t participate because they didn’t know, Vilsack said.
USDA will reopen sign-up for CFAP 2 for at least 60 days beginning on April 5, 2021. The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has committed at least $2.5 million to improve outreach for CFAP 2 and will establish partnerships with
organizations with strong connections to socially disadvantaged communities to ensure they are informed and aware of the application process.
The USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers announced today is divided into four parts, Vilsack said.
Part 1: Investing $6 Billion to Expand Help & Assistance to More Producers.
Part 2: Adding $500 Million of New Funding to Existing Programs.
Part 3: Carrying Out Formula Payments under CFAP 1, CFAP 2, CFAP AA.
Part 4: Reopening CFAP 2 Sign-Up to Improve Access & Outreach to Underserved Producers.
Click here for more information on the details of today’s announcement.
You can listen to the complete announcement from Vilsack by clicking on the listen bar below.
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