SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Agriculture announced Thursday 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.

The funding is a part of the state’s coronavirus relief initiative, the Business Interruption Grants program, which uses federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act money in targeted disbursements for Illinois industries.

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

“These dollars enable farmers’ continuity of operations while providing our small meat and poultry plants the ability to make necessary improvements to expand animal throughput and capacity,” Jerry Costello II, acting director of IDOA, said in a news release.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

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