The numbers are in from the second round of the Wisconsin Farm Support Program, a joint program between the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) under the direction of the office of Governor Tony Evers. Designed to assist Wisconsin farmers who have faced financial challenges due to COVID-19, the program utilized $50 million of the state’s CARES Act funding to quickly provide direct support to help cover economic losses during the pandemic. In the first round, $41.6 million was distributed to nearly 12,000 farmers in 71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. An updated distribution map is available here.
“I am proud that more than 3,300 Wisconsin farmers received a total of $8.4 million in the second round of Farm Support Program funding,” noted Governor Tony Evers. “In all, $50 million has been distributed to more than 15,000 farmers across our state. These folks have never stopped doing their part to ensure that consumers around the world have access to high-quality, nutritious food during this public health crisis. I want to thank our farmers for their critically important work, and we’re proud to support them in any way we can.”
The second round of funding was open to farmers whose gross income from farming in 2019 was between $10,000 and $5 million. “In this round, almost 60 percent of funding recipients reported a gross income from farming of less than $40,000,” said DATCP Secretary-designee Randy Romanski. “Clearly, there was a need for additional support among Wisconsin’s smaller farm operations. We are glad that this second round was able to provide that support. While this funding won’t make anyone whole, we hope it will provide some relief.”
Department of Revenue Secretary Peter Barca noted, “I am proud of the work our staff did to design a simple application process. Farmers who completed the online application told us it was clear what was needed to apply and easy to complete and submit. Additionally, we are pleased to report that our customer service team assisted farmers who did not have access to the internet and helped them complete the application over the phone. We recognize how vitally important farmers are to both ensuring our families have healthy food to eat as well as contributing to the Wisconsin economy.”