New assistance for Alabama agriculture through AASP

County Agent’s Corner

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey recently allocated $26 million to assist Alabama agricultural producers and processors affected by COVID-19. Through the Alabama Agricultural Stabilization Program (AASP), eligible farmers can apply for this assistance.

Funds for the AASP were allocated from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). In total, Alabama received approximately $1.9 billion through the CARES Act, which Ivey has appropriated for different programs.

Adam Rabinowitz, Alabama Extension economist, said the funding through AASP is essential for agribusinesses impacted by COVID-19.

“While the USDA Farm Service Agency is managing the national Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), that program does not cover all segments of agriculture that have been impacted by the pandemic,” he said. “This program helps bridge that gap by providing funding for other producers and processors not covered by CFAP.”

The AASP also provides additional funding for producers that were covered by CFAP, which did not cover the full price impact or additional costs incurred to protect workers.

Limitations

Funds cannot be used for salaries, building projects, or capital improvements. There are other limitations that are specific to each program within AASP. Rabinowitz said these limitations are specific to how different agribusinesses have been impacted as a result of COVID-19.

“For some, the primary disruptions were market access and market prices, while for others it was the need to purchase PPE and other equipment to ensure worker safety,” he said. “This is why different programs within the AASP have different limitations on what losses can be covered or expenses can be reimbursed.”

More information

For more information on AASP, visit the ADAI website at www.agi.alabama.gov. There, producers and processors will find a brief summary of each program under AASP, as well as the entire memorandum of the program. For more information, contact a member of the Alabama Extension farm and agribusiness management team or visit www.aces.edu.

Upcoming Extension programs

• Blount County 4-H Chick Chain Auction, Saturday, Sept. 12, 11 a.m., Agri-business Center in Oneonta.

• Remember to contact the Extension Office if you receive any unsolicited seeds through the mail from China.

• Thursday, Oct. 1, at 2 p.m., the Food Safety and Quality team will host a virtual Wild Game Workshop. Participants will learn how to use an electric pressure cooker to cook wild game meals in minutes. Live demonstrations will be conducted on how to pressure cook wild game, how to use different drying methods to make wild game jerky, and more! Recipes will be provided. To get started please go to www.aces.edu/go/wildgamepayment.

• For information on many other upcoming virtual programs, please like our Facebook page “Blount County Alabama Extension.”