HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Agricultural Secretary Russel Redding announced Tuesday, more than 1,500 Pennsylvania dairy farmers have received direct relief payments totaling $7.6 Million from the CARES Act-funded Dairy Program.
“Early in the pandemic in Pennsylvania, many of our dairy farmers were forced to dump milk and faced extreme uncertainty due to rapidly changing markets,” said Redding. “In this season of thanks, we are grateful that the legislature saw and met the needs of Pennsylvania’s dairy farmers with this program. These dollars don’t stop at the farm gate. They come back in your communities through grocery stores, schools, food banks, and more.”
Farmer’s losses must have occurred between March 6, 2020, and September 30, 2020 to qualify for direct relief payments. Farmers were also eligible for an immediate $1,500 payment upon applying, followed by additional relief dollars with the remaining funds in the program.
“The dairy indemnity program, funded by the CARES Act, was a great program to help 1,550 of our farmers weather COVID-19,” said Judy Schwank, chairperson of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. “But there are nearly 7,000 dairy farms in the Commonwealth. We have to recommit ourselves to doing everything we can to strengthen the industry.”
Pennsylvania is home to around 7,000 dairy farms with an economic impact of $12 billion and hosting more than 52,000 jobs. The commonwealth’s more than 500,000 cows produce more than 10.2 billion pounds of milk annually, ranking Pennsylvania seventh in the nation for total milk production.
For information as it relates to agriculture during COVID-19 mitigation in Pennsylvania visit agriculture.pa.gov/COVID. For the most accurate, timely information related to Health in Pennsylvania, visit on.pa.gov/coronavirus.
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