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USDA makes more relief money available to farmers

Money could ‘tide over’ farmers until next year

New federal funding will help local farmers recoup money they lost during the pandemic.
New federal funding will help local farmers recoup money they lost during the pandemic.

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – New federal funding will help local farmers recoup money they lost during the pandemic.

The United States Department of Agriculture is making another $1 billion available to Virginia farmers impacted by COVID-19.

Contract livestock and poultry producers and specialty crop growers can now apply for funding. Farmers can also use 2018 or 2019 sales numbers to determine how much funding they can get to repair or purchase equipment, buy livestock and more.

Locally, Franklin County farmers were hit hard, particularly dairy farmers and timber harvesters.

The Farm Service Agency for Franklin and Henry Counties has already issued $11.5 million over the past two years, according to the agency’s County Executive Director, G.B. Washburn.

Agriculture contributes to more than 30% of Franklin County’s economy, so this money will help farmers stay in business and keep the community’s economy afloat.

“Hopefully, it will help them regain some of what they lost. And hopefully, by that, help tide them over to another year when things are better,” said Washburn. “The margin in agriculture is so small, when you have any kind of market disruptions or price decreases, it puts you in a bind really, really quickly.”

You have until Oct. 12 to submit new or modified applications. Contact your local Farm Service Agency to see if you’re eligible.


About the Author:

Lindsey joined the WSLS 10 team as a reporter in February 2019 and is thrilled to call Roanoke her new home!