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CHAMPAIGN – Senate Agriculture Chair Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced $5 million in financial assistance will be available to livestock producers and small meat and poultry plants hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic through the Illinois Department of Agriculture. 

“Farmers have continued to put food on store shelves and on families’ tables during these tough times,” Bennett said. “I’m confident these funds will help benefit producers, consumers and rural communities that have been impacted by COVID-19 disruptions.”

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically slowed livestock processing throughout the state, which forced farmers to hold animals for longer periods of time, resulting in higher input costs and cancelled, delayed or reduced sales.

Financial assistance is available through three programs administered by the Department of Agriculture. Individuals and businesses are only eligible to apply for one program, and applicants located in a disproportionately impacted area (DIA) will receive a 10% increase in funding. A list of DIA’s can be found here.

Online applications are available at agr.state.il.us. Applications will close on Oct. 31, 2020. Questions about this funding can be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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