Longietti urges dairy farmers to apply for relief under new federal program

HERMITAGE, June 22 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, is encouraging area dairy farmers who have suffered financial losses because of COVID-19 to apply for relief under a new program that can help offset some of those losses.

The Dairy Indemnity Program – funded through the federal CARES Act and administered by the state Department of Agriculture – will distribute $15 million in funding to dairy farmers who have suffered financial losses as a result of discarded or displaced milk during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Like other businesses, our dairy farms have been hit hard by COVID-19,” Longietti said. “But our resilient farmers have been facing tough challenges based on market conditions long before the pandemic. This recent disaster merely added insult to injury by shuttering major customers like businesses and schools.

“While the new program won’t solve some of the more long-term issues facing our dairy farmers, it will at least help to offset immediate losses to this important industry, which supplies a vital product and contributes billions annually to Pennsylvania’s economy. I’m urging all dairy farmers to determine whether they are eligible and, if so, to apply.”

Longietti said that any dairy farm that experienced financial losses due to discarded or displaced milk during the COVID-19 emergency disaster may apply for assistance. Each farm with a documented loss will receive a minimum of $1,500, plus an additional pro-rated share of the remaining funds. The deadline to apply is Sept. 30.

More information about the program is available here.