Troxler announces $2 million in funds for dairy assistance due to COVID-19 losses
Application period opens Sept.
28 and closes Oct. 12
Grade A dairy fluid milk producers in North
Carolina who suffered losses because of COVID-19 disruptions in the milk supply chain can soon apply for assistance through
the COVID-19 Dairy Aid Program 2020. A total of $2 million will be available, with limits on the amount paid to producers.
“The application period opens Sept. 28 and closes Oct. 12, which is a fairly quick turnaround
time,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Grade A dairy fluid milk producers will want to gather their
information together now, so they can submit their application easily when the period opens.”
COVID-19 created serious disruptions to the food supply chain, including the state’s dairy
industry. Dairy producers and processors across the state and nation lost portions of their market due to COVID-19 mandated
shutdowns of K-12 school systems, institutions of higher learning and food service industries. In some cases, milk had to
be dumped on farms rather than being sold, which resulted in losses for those farms.
The N.C. General Assembly approved the funding for the assistance, which comes from federal COVID-19 funds
earmarked for North Carolina. A dairy study could also be part of the program. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services will manage the program and distribute funds. Eligible producers will be sent a letter next week with further details
about the application process.
“The people of North Carolina
are grateful that we have a fresh and local supply of dairy products available to consumers and pray that our farmers continue
their hard work in safety and good health,” said N.C. Representative Jeff McNeely, one of the advocates for the dairy
To qualify, fluid milk producers must be inspected by
the NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division, qualify for the Grade A dairy program and be subject to the Federal Milk
Marketing Order 5. Producers will be eligible based on the pounds of Class I fluid milk produced beginning in April.