This page will be updated as more information becomes available
Congress has passed several rounds of financial assistance and relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including most recently the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides needed relief to our farmers, including:
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides $4 billion to the USDA to provide additional relief for agricultural producers. Of the $4 billion, $3.6 billion of the new funds will be used:
USDA will use $300 million to conduct animal surveillance related to COVID-19. $100 million is provided to reduce the amount of overtime inspection costs for federally inspected small and very small meat, poultry, and egg processors.
The $4 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is in addition to the $13 billion provided by the December 2020 COVID relief law, which included:
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 starts to address the needs of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers by providing $1 billion to the USDA, which will be used for:
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 gives the USDA authority to provide farm loan assistance by making payments of up to 120% of outstanding agricultural loans as of January 1, 2021, to help farmers and ranchers from socially disadvantaged groups.
Details on these new programs have yet to be determined, but this webpage will be updated as the USDA implements this authority. Please also check the USDA’s website on COVID relief for updates. In addition, the USDA’s Farm Service Administration (FSA) is expected to continue playing a central role in providing service to agricultural producers. Local FSA agents and offices can be found here.
Besides direct assistance to farmers and agricultural businesses, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 extended the eligibility for unemployment benefits and the additional amounts Wisconsinites can receive. This includes independent contractors, part-time workers, and others not normally eligible for unemployment benefits. Please click here for additional information.
If your job has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, you can apply for unemployment benefits in Wisconsin here.
For information about the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for farmers and rural communities, please click here.
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