$5 Million Available to Livestock Farmers: Oct. 31 Deadline for Meat, Poultry, & Swine Producers

State Representative Blaine Wilhour is advising local farmers about a grant program they should consider applying for if they think they qualify. The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) has announced that $5 million in business recovery grants is now available for the livestock industry. Livestock producers and small meat and poultry plants impacted by the COVID-19 emergency may apply through Oct. 31.

“For most farmers these grants aren’t enough to repair the damage caused to them by the coronavirus regulations on businesses and restaurants but it could be the right amount of funds to help keep some operations afloat,” said Rep. Wilhour. “I encourage the livestock farmers in my area to look into this grant program to see if they qualify for one of the grants that could be anywhere up to $25,000.”

Livestock-involved firms can apply for funds through three IDOA programs.

First is the Swine Depopulation Program, which covers up to $10,000 in expenses for depopulating and disposing of livestock in response to coronavirus disruptions to the market on or after April 15.

The second is the Agriculture Business Interruption Program, which covers monetary losses and expenses up to $10,000 for livestock producers who were forced to hold livestock or livestock-related products due to COVID-19 between April 15 and May 15.

The third is the Meat and Poultry Capacity Program, which covers operating and facility improvement costs associated with COVID-19 shutdowns or mitigating capacity reductions for businesses with 60 or fewer employees, up to $25,000.

Online applications for grants are available at apps.agr.illinois.gov/AGR-CARES. Questions about the programs or the application can be emailed to agr.grants@illinois.gov.