RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — A new addition to the Cares Act will provide local farms with much needed financial relief.
For a small farmer who works his land almost all by himself, a price increase brought on by the pandemic can be fatal.
This fear is something that Rick Snuffer is all too familiar with. He was born into the farming business, and knows how much it takes to keep a small farm alive.
“Farming’s always been in my blood. So I try to do it smart, use my brain on it, not so much brawn,” said Snuffer, who owns and operates Snuffer Farms.
Snuffer said many things go in to maintaining a farm and it’s livestock, and when expenses pile up, that’s when the worry sets in.
“But there is a lot of things that people don’t understand about the cattle industry. They think ‘Oh you got those cows up there you got so much money’ you know they bring in a certain amount, but there is a lot that goes into that,” said Snuffer.
Feed, fertilizer, minerals, vaccinations and other materials are necessary, but costly.
Which is why the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program exists. While the full Cares Act helps to keep small business alive, the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program helps keep livestock happy and healthy.
The program is available for small farm owners.
Due to a high demand for meat products, farmers can now get the money they need to keep their business alive.
Keith Richmond is the executive director for the U.S.D.A farm service agency. He said he’s determined to get local farms the money they need.
“Well it’s important to me I look for ways to try and help these guys out. I farm, I know what it’s like. I have spent my whole life dealing with it and working with them. They are neighbors, so it’s neighbors helping neighbors and whatever we can do to help, we wanna help,” said Richmond
While Snuffer is grateful for the funding, he said it is only a temporary solution.
“So this part of the Cares Act for farmers gave us a little bit of a stimulus to get us through rough times, but we are going to need more. I don’t know when it’s gonna happen or when the markets are going to pick up,” said Snuffer.
Snuffer relies on taking his cattle to market in the fall to turn a profit. This is the reason for increased meat prices around the country during the pandemic, as prices at the market are increasing as well.
But if small farms like Snuffer Farm cannot stay alive, the price of meat could go even higher.
This is what the Coronavirus Food assistance Program is fighting to prevent.
If you are a small farmer and qualify for funding, you have until August 28th to sign up.