MOUNT JOY, Pa. (WHTM) — Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced a $25 million recovery and reimbursement program for poultry farmers impacted by the avian flu that impacted Pennsylvania.
The flu impacted 17 poultry farms in Lancaster and Berks counties over the spring and early summer months, causing a loss of more than 4.2 million birds. The new reimbursement program will provide $25 million to help bridge the gap for the affected farmers to help them on the path to recovery.
“Pennsylvania’s poultry industry is $7.1 billion to the economy and 26,600 jobs. It’s food on the table here in the commonwealth and across the nation. This $25 million recovery program was critical to secure, and I’m grateful to Governor Tom Wolf and the General Assembly for recognizing the value of this industry in the budget,” said Redding. “Pennsylvania’s poultry producers and integrators will remain vigilant, and together we are prepared to continue fighting this threat to our food system and economy during upcoming migrations.”
The reimbursement grant program is comprised of two rounds, as quoted in the press release.
- Round one is now open to only poultry farmers and integrators and to only those premises located in the 3-kilometer infected zones as defined by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s General Quarantine Order. The 91 impacted poultry farms that have been identified as part of the first round have received a direct mailing of the application this week. Round one applications are due Sept. 10, 2022.
- Round two will be open to those who suffered losses in the Control Zones. Additional information will be shared about the second round when it becomes available on agriculture.pa.gov.
“Creating jobs and literally putting food on the table, agriculture is our top industry,” said Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler, a champion for the program. “This year, after years of pandemic and related supply chain and labor shortage issues, farmers are facing a historic outbreak of avian flu, affecting many poultry farmers. This year’s budget highlights our continuing commitment to Pennsylvania agriculture and helping those farmers impacted by the avian flu outbreak.”
Losses up to $100,000 will be reimbursed at 100%. Loses of amounts over $100,000 may be reimbursed on a percentage basis, based on the number of applications and funding that is available.
As of July 27, all control areas have been lifted. The General Quarantine Order is still in place. This still enables the state to place restrictions on infected farms to control the spread of the disease.
To apply for the grant program, click here.