Ag grants help QC-area farmers, schools

Local News

FILE – In this July 11, 2018, file photo, a field of corn grows in front of an old windmill in Pacific Junction, Iowa. The federal government said Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, it would give farmers an additional $14 billion to compensate them for the difficulties they’ve experienced selling their crops, milk and meat because of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File )

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig has announced the recipients, three in the Quad-City area, of the CARES Act Local Produce and Protein Program grants.

The program helps schools, colleges and universities, and early-child–care centers purchase more locally-grown fruits, vegetables and proteins for student meal programs, a news release says. The grant program, which benefits both farmers impacted by COVID-19 supply chain disruptions and Iowa students, was funded by $750,000 of CARES Act money allocated by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Iowa’s specialty crop producers and food hubs were also eligible for a portion of the Local Produce and Protein Program funding. Shane Lee Mairet, of Muscatine; Tyson Wood Allchin, Columbus Junction, and Chad Dexter, Davenport, were among 54 producers and distributors awarded grants to purchase supplies and equipment needed to serve their protein and produce in schools, colleges and universities, and early care centers.

Eligible purchases included refrigerated trucks, cold storage units, and boxes and packaging equipment.

A list of Local Produce and Protein Program grant recipients is at iowaagriculture.gov/grants

The Local Produce and Protein grant program is one of several initiatives the Iowa Department of Agriculture has offered to help local specialty crop producers during the pandemic.
To learn more about the Department’s efforts to support Iowa’s specialty crop growers, visit iowaagriculture.gov/agricultural-diversification-market-development-bureau.

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