(Mankato, MN) – Governor Tim Walz has announced a relief plan for agricultural producers, meat processors, and farmers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $7.7 million plan is funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  The financial support is intended to help farmers who have experienced market disruptions so they can recover, and purchase equipment and supplies necessary for COVID-19.

The funding includes $5.7 million in direct payments to turkey and pork producers to compensate for market disruptions and associated costs due to COVID-19, and $1 million for cost-share aid to companies or individuals looking to expand or open a meat processing facility.

Funds are also allocated for local food systems, Farm Business Management Scholarships, and grant reimbursements for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Governor Walz will also visit with farmers and industry leaders in Austin, Albert Lea,m and Northfield to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 and the future of their operations.

“The work [farmers have] done to continue to feed Minnesotans and our nation throughout this challenging time is remarkable,” said Governor Walz.  “As someone who grew up on a family farm, I stand with our farmers and am proud to allocate this much-needed support.”

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