Billions in USDA grants distributed to farmers, ranchers

VIDEO: Billions in USDA grants for farmers & ranchers

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given billions of dollars in CARES Act money to farmers who are struggling during the pandemic.

In this article, Clemson's College of Agriculture calls it "long-awaited" help for farmers and ranchers in South Carolina.

The USDA's Coronavirus Food Assistance ProgramCoronavirus Food Assistance Program involves $19 billion in funding, including from the CARES ACT.

The federal agency reports it has distributed $4,006,461,973 in payments to 252,489 producers as of Monday.

They've processed 1,908 applications from South Carolina totaling $13.9 million given to farmers and ranchers here.

Those include non-specialty crops like corn, oats, wheat, soybeans; specialty crops such as fruits, veggies and nuts; livestock such as cattle, hogs, and sheep; and dairy farmers.

There's a $250,000 limit per person or farm.

The USDA is also buying $3 billion of produce and meat from local producers to give to nonprofits like food banks.

Farmers who've gotten the PPP small business loan still qualify for this USDA assistance.

The agency’s website says, “USDA is accepting applications now through August 28, 2020. Producers should apply through the Farm Service Agency at their local USDA Service Center.”

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