The North Carolina (N.C.) Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has opened the application period for the first phase of its North Carolina Swine and Dairy Assistance program. The $30 million in federal COVID funds appropriated by the N.C. General Assembly will offer assistance for eligible swine and dairy producers for losses incurred from termination of contracts or ceased milk production due to the pandemic.
“A significant number of swine farms have lost contracts and dairies have been forced out of business due to the pandemic. It has been a rough time for many farmers,” says Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The application process will take place in two phases. Phase 1, which determines program eligibility, is underway now. Eligible applicants will receive a one-time assistance payment of $31,500 in Phase 1. This first phase is meant to provide funds quickly to farmers so bills can be paid. If you are a farmer and this program applies to you then get your application in as soon as possible.”
Phase 2 will focus on infrastructure modifications to barns, hog houses and/or lagoons. More details on Phase 2 will be released in early February.
The grant application and required forms can be downloaded from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2023, but funds are limited so farmers are encouraged to go ahead and apply.
For questions about the program in general, call 866-747-9823. Applicants may also reach out to their local cooperative Extension, Farm Service Agency or N.C. Farm Bureau offices for application support.