12,000 Wisconsin Farmers Will Receive Up to $3,500 in Federal Aid
Terraced planted corn on a farm near Blanchardville. (Photo © Andy Manis)

One-time payments part of Wisconsin Farm Support Program funded by CARES Act.

Almost 12,000 Wisconsin farmers received much-needed financial assistance through a joint program overseen by two state agencies, and more help is on the way to help them stay in business amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Gov. Tony Evers announced on Monday the payment of $41.6 million to those farmers through the Wisconsin Farm Support Program, overseen by the state department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and the state Department of Revenue. 

Farmers received one-time payments ranging from $1,000 and $3,500 through the program.  

The program was funded by $50 million through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Wisconsin farmers have never stopped working to ensure that folks have food on their tables and shelves in stores are stocked,” Evers said in a news release. 

While the program covers only a small portion of pandemic-related financial difficulties farmers have faced, it helps pay bills during a time when farmers have struggled financially, leaders of Wisconsin farm organizations said. 

With $8.4 million in program dollars remaining, DATCP and DOR will oversee another round of funding, open to farmers whose gross income is between $10,000 and $5 million. Applications will be accepted between Aug. 10 and Aug. 24. More information about the program and how to apply can be found here.

“In our discussions with a wide variety of groups representing Wisconsin farmers, we’ve identified an opportunity to expand the eligibility for this program and offer support to even more farmers,” DATCP Secretary-designee Randy Romanski said. 

Wisconsin farmers and others across the U.S. have struggled in recent years amid continued low milk and grain prices and rising costs of operation. Last year more than 800 dairy farmers went out of business, and more have done so this year as the pandemic closed major farm customers and disrupted the supply chain, leaving many without a way to get their product to consumers.