MADISON, Wis. — Agriculture producers across the state are getting a bountiful harvest this winter – thanks to Governor Evers, almost 20,000 farmers have been approved to receive thousands of dollars in state COVID aid, helping producers, especially our dairy industry, moo-ve past this pandemic.
The agricultural industry is a cornerstone of our state’s economy – contributing nearly $105 billion annually and supporting more than 435,000 jobs. That’s why Governor Evers has made supporting farmers a priority – so far, he’s allocated $100 million through the Wisconsin Farm Support program. This latest crop of funding will ensure the agricultural industry can build back stronger than before.
Read more about Gov. Evers’ Wisconsin Farm Support program below.
More Wisconsin farmers are tapping into a state support program meant to offset the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Tony Evers first created the program using federal COVID-19 recovery funds in 2020 to provide direct payments to farmers. Last year, the state awarded $3,500 to just over 15,000 farmers who made between $10,000 and $5 million in gross income the previous year.
Randy Romanski, secretary of the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, said almost 20,000 people have so far been approved for the program. Farmers who had problems with their application have until 4:30 p.m. on Friday to resolve them with the Department of Revenue before payments are made.
Romanski said the $50 million available for the program will be evenly split among approved applicants, with farmers currently expected to receive around $2,500. The state will begin issuing payments on Dec. 17.
While officials don’t know for sure why more farmers applied for the program this year, Romanski said he believes the early announcement from Evers about the availability of funds and the Department of Revenue sending out letters to all eligible farmers helped increase awareness about the availability of funding.
“There was an understanding of how quick and easy it was to fill out. And someone who may not have applied last time may know a friend, neighbor, relative that applied and they decided to get in this time,” he said.