Relief funds have made their way to Mississippi agriculture producers.
Announced by Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson, over $7.6 million has been paid out to 330 farmers, ranchers and agriculture producers through the Mississippi Agriculture Stabilization Act (MASA).
“I am proud to announce that the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce has been able to directly distribute over $7.6 million to our agriculture producers across the state who have struggled during the pandemic this year,” Commissioner Gipson said. “I want to thank Governor Tate Reeves, Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann, House Speaker Philip Gunn, State Senate Agriculture Chairman Chuck Younger and House of Representatives Agriculture Chairman Bill Pigott for their work on this endeavor.”
The program was created by the Mississippi Legislature using CARES Act funding.
MASA went into law on October 9, 2020, through Senate Bills 3058 and 3061, creating three separate funds within it: the Poultry Farmer Stabilization Grant Fund, the Sweet Potato Farm Sustainment Grant Program Fund and the Mississippi Supplemental CFAP Grant Program Fund. MASA Funds reimbursed agricultural producers for expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our farmers are the lifeblood of Mississippi, and of much of the Nation. They were hit hard by the pandemic,” Lt. Governor Hosemann said. “The Agriculture Stabilization Act created and funded by the Legislature gave hundreds of our farmers a boost of almost $7.7 million during a very difficult time. We are grateful to the Department for administering and marketing this important program.”
“We realize this past year has been a trying time for all Mississippians, including our farmers,” Speaker Gunn said. “I’m glad we were able to quickly pass this legislation out of the House and provide our state’s agricultural producers the help they needed through the Mississippi Agriculture Stabilization Act.”
All unexpended funds were transferred to the state’s Unemployment Compensation Fund.