Farmers who were previously ineligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) can now apply for aid thanks to a collaboration between the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF), American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Chicken Council and lawmakers. Up to $1 billion will be made available through the Consolidated Appropriations Act to livestock and poultry producers who suffered financial losses from January 1, 2020, through December 27, 2020.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act expands assistance coverage to include chickens, poultry eggs, turkeys, hogs and pigs, ducks, geese, pheasants and quail, including eligible breeding stock and eggs of all eligible poultry types produced under contract.
MFBF brought this issue to the attention of AFBF during a conference call among southeastern Farm Bureaus in April 2020 and has been engaged with it for more than a year.
“This is a historic day for contract producers,” MFBF President Mike McCormick said. “On behalf of all MFBF members, thank you to USDA for recognizing the astounding loss farmers experienced during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic,”
“When restaurants and schools closed, the demand for fresh food disappeared almost overnight,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. “While previous CFAP funding addressed many losses, AFBF recognized that contract growers were left out and worked with lawmakers and the administration to ensure all farmers’ voices were being heard.”
As a co-chair of the Senate Chicken Caucus, Senator Roger Wicker played a monumental role in the development of this aid.
“We cannot thank Senator Wicker enough for his work on this issue,” McCormick said. “During his tenure in Congress, he has always been a friend to Farm Bureau and the Mississippi agriculture industry. I am proud to say a Mississippi senator had such a huge role in pushing this historic policy.”
“We thank Senator Roger Wicker and Senator Chris Coons, as co-chairs of the Senate Chicken Caucus, as well as the Senate and House Agriculture committees for their work to address the shortcomings of CFAP assistance, and we appreciate the Biden administration and Secretary Vilsack for seeing this aid through,” Duvall said. “COVID relief will help farmers across the country recover from the damage caused by the pandemic and ensure they can continue putting food on the table for America’s families.”
New and modified CFAP 2 applications are due by Oct. 12, 2021. Interested farmers should contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. To find a local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-locator.