Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson announced that the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) will be accepting applications for the Mississippi Agriculture Stabilization Act (MASA) Thursday, October 15 through Monday, November 16.
MASA went into law on October 9, 2020, through Senate Bills 3058 and 3061, and provides roughly $13 million to assist producers in Mississippi with CARES Act funds. This program is a self-certified application program for assistance due to the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Mississippi agriculture producers and has three separate funds within it: the Poultry Farmer Stabilization Grant Fund ($3 million), the Sweet Potato Farm Sustainment Grant Program Fund ($500,000), and the Mississippi Supplemental CFAP Grant Program Fund ($9.5 million).
“We are excited to be able to accept applications from eligible producers for these funds, and we want to thank the Legislature for their consideration of farmers during this difficult year,” said Commissioner Gipson. “We will begin accepting applications for one month starting today, and I encourage producers to apply early.”
Submitted applications will be evaluated based on sales, inventory and other records. However, since MASA is a self-certification program, this documentation may not need to be submitted in its entirety with the application. Applications are subject to review and spot check audits; some producers will be required to provide documentation at a later date to substantiate their claims. Producers should retain the records and documentation they use to complete their applications.
Producers may apply at mscaresact.com and applications must be submitted online. If application requests exceed available funding, funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. All funds must be dispersed by the Department no later than December 15, 2020.