Information provided by the Office of Congressman Jimmy Panetta.
On July 30, Congressman Jimmy Panetta’s office said that he and Congressman Billy Long introduced legislation to help preserve agricultural fairs across the country and offset the financial losses they have experienced due to COVID-19. According to a recent release, the Agricultural Fairs Rescue Act will provide grant funding for agricultural fairs through state departments of agriculture to keep them functioning and preserve them for the future.
If approved, the legislation would provide $500 million in Agricultural Fair Rescue Grants to agricultural fairs, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The AMS will provide the grant funding to states or state departments of agriculture based on the loss of attendance those fairs have experienced in 2020.
“County and local fairs are very important to agriculture and our communities all across our country. Fairs provide our producers with the opportunity to market their crops and livestock, and foster the next generation of farmers. They also are an economic engine and a gathering place for us to highlight and celebrate our communities. Like many institutions, fairs have been impacted by COVID-19, and we must provide them assistance if we are going to preserve these fairs for the future,” Panetta said.
Last week, Panetta and Long led their colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter urging House leadership to include strong support for state and county agricultural fairs in the next COVID-19 relief package.