Ag

Former state Rep. Jerry Costello, shown here in this file photo from Costello’s state representative Facebook page, was appointed in February by Gov. JB Pritzker as the next director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Agriculture announced that $5 million in business recovery grants is available for the state’s livestock industry.

Livestock producers and small meat and poultry plants impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to receive the grants, and the application period is open through Oct. 31.

Livestock-involved firms can access the funds through three IDOA programs.

First is the Swine Depopulation Program, which covers up to $10,000 in expenses for depopulating and disposing of livestock in response to coronavirus disruptions to the market on or after April 15.

The second is the Agriculture Business Interruption Program, which covers monetary losses and expenses up to $10,000 for livestock producers who were forced to hold livestock or livestock-related products due to COVID-19 between April 15 and May 15.

The third is the Meat and Poultry Capacity Program, which covers operating and facility improvement costs associated with COVID-19 shutdowns or mitigating capacity reductions for businesses with 60 or fewer employees, up to $25,000.

Online applications for grants are available at apps.agr.illinois.gov/AGR-CARES.

Questions about the programs or the application can be emailed to agr.grants@illinois.gov.

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