New program aims to help Nevada’s agriculture industry

Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 5:18 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -There’s no doubt the pandemic has brought on new hurdles for our agriculture industry.

Ashley Jeppson is from the Nevada Department of Agriculture.

“Some of those challenges include needing increased housing for their employees to provide social distancing, additional supplies for protective equipment or sanitation materials and that’s just to name a couple,” explained Jeppson.

Cows in the field
Cows in the field(KOLO)

The NV Dept. of Agriculture is hoping to provide relief with the CARES Agriculture Adaptability and Recovery program.

Its focus is providing financial assistance to our agriculture producers to challenges they’ve experienced with COVID-19.

“Growers put so much much effort in growing food the the community,” Jeppson added. “Despite COVID-19 it’s important to find a way to get that food to our consumers.”

The program isn’t just limited to farms but includes farmers markets, food hubs, and even distilleries with about $1.2 million dollars to provide assistance all across the silver state.

“Right now there’s a cap for $15,000 per applicant,” said Jeppson. “However come December 15th, 2020 as the deadline approaches we can increase that capacity for folks to reapply.”

Hank Schenkel knows the struggle farmers in general face all too well.

Prior to the pandemic, Schenkel was forced to give up Hanco Sierra Farm, but now he’s looking to bring it back in the fall season.

“By the end of this year I will own another piece and then I’m going to get to work,” Schenkel said. “I have to find the right place, right amount of money. In real estate like this it’s all about the location.”

Despite the uncertainty of a pandemic, Schenkel is confident he’ll be able to support his farm and is looking forward to supplying vegetables to Nevadans.

“I never worry about the economy, because first of all people have to eat,” added Schenkel. “If you don’t eat or sustain you’re done. people are resourceful no matter what.”

If you'd like to apply for the program, click here.

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