Additional economic relief is now available for Maryland’s agricultural industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture is providing $10 million to farmers who have suffered depopulation, market supply chain disruptions, or other negative impacts. This new program will specifically benefit contract poultry growers - also known as independent poultry farmers that contract with larger companies (like Perdue) - which is considered to be the state’s top agricultural commodity.
“The Maryland Farmer COVID-19 Relief Program will provide critical financial assistance to farmers and producers, including our poultry growers who were not eligible for federal relief programs,” said Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder.
Eligibility requirements and information on how to apply can be found online.
“Far too often our farmers don’t get the respect or the appreciation they deserve, but I want our entire agriculture community to know that your commitment to our state and to our agriculture industry does not go unnoticed,” said Governor Larry Hogan.
In addition, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is providing $4 million to fishing operations who suffered significant loss due to the ongoing pandemic – including aquaculture and seafood processing plants – as well as marketing and business support for the seafood industry. Applications will be available on November 4 on the OneStop website and will be accepted through February 2021.
“Our goal is to ensure that these relief funds provide direct assistance to eligible individuals and help solidify Maryland’s markets for the future,” said Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio.
Details and eligibility guidelines for the Department of Natural Resources’ program can be found online.