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USDA working with farmers to assure a reliable supply chain during the pandemic

BOONSBORO, Md. (WDVM) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expanding its food assistance programs during the pandemic not just to consumers, but to farmers.

Because of market disruptions and commodity costs to keep a stable supply of products in the marketplace, the USDA is making grants to farmers and ranchers who can assure a stable supply of beef, poultry, grains, crops and foodstuffs to underserved communities. It makes perfect sense to growers and ranchers in Washington County.

“We had a lot of shortages with the supply chain when Covid first struck and you couldn’t find things in your regular supermarket and it was our local farms that kept us all fed,” said Alexis Holland who runs Whistle Punk Farm.

And Holland’s farm, which raises heritage hogs, operates a food truck. She sees first hand the economic impact the pandemic is having.

“We’re out in the community quite a bit,” says Holland, “and we’ve met quite a few families that have been in such dire need for food.”

It is important, Holland says that the government maintains a stable food supply. With the rise of Covid cases, Holland expects the demand for food to only increase. All the more reason farmers need someone to have their back. Help from the USDA is most timely and she sees farmer’s markets and churches doing their part to help the needy.

Farmers and ranchers who want to participate in the program should reach out to the Washington County Farm Service Agency.

Farmers may sign up for the food assistance program through December 11.

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