Pennsylvania Announces $25 Million Recovery Program for Poultry Farmers

avian FluCredit: Commonwealth Media Services

MOUNT JOY, PA — Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding was joined Wednsday by Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA ) Director Randy Padfield, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and industry partners to announce a new $25 million recovery and reimbursement program for poultry farmers and integrators impacted by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

HPAI directly impacted 17 poultry farms in Lancaster and Berks counties this spring and summer, causing a loss of more than 4.2 million birds. The commonwealth’s new HPAI Recovery Reimbursement Grant Program provides $25 million to help bridge the gap for affected farmers and facilitate a path to recovery.

“Pennsylvania’s poultry industry is $7.1 billion to the economy and 26,600 jobs. It’s food on the table here in the commonwealth and across the nation. This $25 million recovery program was critical to secure, and I’m grateful to Governor Tom Wolf and the General Assembly for recognizing the value of this industry in the budget,” said Redding. “Pennsylvania’s poultry producers and integrators will remain vigilant, and together we are prepared to continue fighting this threat to our food system and economy during upcoming migrations.”

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“Creating jobs and literally putting food on the table, agriculture is our top industry,” said Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler, champion for the program. “This year, after years of pandemic and related supply chain and labor shortage issues, farmers are facing a historic outbreak of avian flu, affecting many poultry farmers. This year’s budget highlights our continuing commitment to Pennsylvania agriculture and helping those farmers impacted by the avian flu outbreak.”

The grant program, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, will provide reimbursement to farms, integrators, and allied industries directly impacted by HPAI by suffering demonstrable financial losses due to inclusion in a control or quarantine zone.

The HPAI Recovery Reimbursement Grant program is comprised of two rounds:

  • Round one is now open to only poultry farmers and integrators and to only those premises located in the 3-kilometer infected zones as defined by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s General Quarantine Order. The 91 impacted poultry farms that have been identified as part of the first round have received a direct mailing of the application this week. Round one applications are due September 10, 2022.
  • Round two will be open to those who suffered losses in the Control Zones. Additional information will be shared about the second round when it becomes available on agriculture.pa.gov.
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Losses up to $100,000 will be reimbursed at 100%. Losses of amounts over $100,000 may be reimbursed on a percentage basis, based on the number of applications received and available funding.

Update on HPAI in Pennsylvania

As of July 27, 2022, all Control Areas (the 10-kilometer perimeter around an infected, quarantined farm) have been lifted.

The General Quarantine Order is still in place, enabling the state to place additional restrictions on HPAI-infected farms to control the spread of the disease. The prohibition on exhibiting poultry at fairs is also still in place.

To apply for the grant program, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s website. To learn more about HPAI, visit the avian influenza web page.

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