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More than 14,500 apply for Wisconsin Farm Support Program

Kaitlyn Riley

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The application period for the Wisconsin Farm Support Program closed midnight Monday with 14,543 applications for funding from farmers.

Secretary-Designee for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Randy Romanski said currently, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue is reviewing those applications to make sure they meet the requirements.

“Consistent with the Governor’s goals and the goals of those organizations, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue is going to get those dollars out the door starting mid-July,” Romanski said. “It is important to get some resources out there to farmers.”

Done completely online, Romanski said he heard positive feedback from the process. The typical application took 10-15 minutes to complete.

“There were some connectivity issues,” Romanski said. “In those cases, we also pushed the phone number for the Department of Revenue, so they took a lot of phone calls from those not being able to access the online application, and they worked to fill it out right over the phone.”

The program, announced in late May by Gov. Tony Evers will provide a total of $50 million in direct support to Wisconsin farmers who have experienced losses due to COVID-19. Individual payments will range from $1,000-$3,500. Wisconsin farmers with gross income between $35,000 and $5,000,000 in 2019 may be eligible to receive a payment.

In addition to providing $50 million in direct aid as requested by Wisconsin agricultural groups, the Governor has allocated $15 million of the state’s CARES Act funding to support food banks, pantries, and other food businesses that have faced hurdles in adjusting to the pandemic. This portion of the funding would also support Wisconsin producers by giving them an additional market for sale.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in both radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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