PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Oregon Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that it is opening a second round of applications for the Oregon Disaster Assistance Program.
The agency also shared an update on how much funding has been issued so far and specifically how much has gone to small and historically underserved farms.
ODA said there is about $19.5 million left to be claimed in forgivable loans through the Oregon Disaster Assistance Program. So far, ODA said nearly $16.3 million was distributed in the first round.
The original amount available was $40 million. ODA said 10% of that amount will be used for administration fees and 5% will go to participating lenders.
Farmers and ranchers can apply for the second round of aid disbursement at participating lending institutions: Umpqua Bank, Columbia Bank, Bank of Eastern Oregon, and Old West Federal Credit Union.
Applications will be accepted through July 19.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture established the forgivable loan program with Oregon Senate Bill 892. The bill created a fund that would grant eligible farmers and ranchers funding to reimburse them for losses that resulted from natural disasters in 2021.
The program calculates assistance for eligible farmers and ranchers in Oregon based on their loss of gross farm income. The income is based on tax filings from 2017, 2018, and 2019 to establish a three-year baseline of what a producer could have expected to earn from their farm, had they not been impacted by a disaster.
Any calculated difference between a farm’s 2021 income and its three-year baseline is considered a loss due to natural disasters.
Each farm and ranch is eligible to receive up to $125,000 or 90% of the three-year baseline. Producers who meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture definition of a historically underserved producer, or a producer who has less than $350,000 in gross income, may qualify for maximum assistance of $150,000 or 95% of the three-year baseline.
Because these rules were what was established in the bill, ODA said it will not be changing the requirements for the second round of applications.
In the first round, ODA said it issued 244 loans. Of those, 147 were distributed to small farms or historically underserved farms. The average loan amount was $66,747.
Applications were received from every county except for Coos, Benton, Lincoln, Gilliam and Sherman.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has more information about the Oregon Disaster Assistance Program online, including a list of what counties have received the most funding so far and how the funds have been distributed to various farming activities. .