Sainato encourages dairy farmers to apply to new federal program

NEW CASTLE, June 22 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, is encouraging dairy farmers who have suffered losses due to COVID-19 to apply for relief under a new federally funded program.

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 throughout the state who have sustained economic losses as a result of discarded or displaced milk during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our dairy farmers are no strangers to adversity: for more than a decade they have worked to overcome extreme economic challenges posed by declining consumption and a shrinking market,” Sainato said. “Despite the odds, these farms manage to contribute billions to Pennsylvania’s economy.

“When the pandemic struck, closing schools, restaurants and offices, it dealt an immediate, unexpected blow to farmers, forcing them to dump thousands of gallons of milk. The new Dairy Indemnity Program will provide a measure of relief to this important industry by offsetting some of those losses and helping farms continue operating. I’m urging all eligible farms to apply as soon as possible.”

Sainato said any dairy farm that suffered losses because of discarded or displaced milk during the COVID-19 emergency disaster may apply for assistance. Farms with documented losses will receive a minimum of $1,500, plus an additional pro-rated share of the remaining funds. The deadline to apply is Sept. 30, 2020.

More information about the program is available here.