Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has announced that following her advocacy, USDA published new rules for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) yesterday that now make apple and select specialty crop producers eligible for the funding beginning July 13th. In June, Congresswoman Stefanik led a letter along with Congressman Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) and Congressman Dan Newhouse (WA-04), requesting that apple producers be deemed eligible for CFAP funding. Following their letter, USDA has made the necessary changes to include apple producers in CFAP funding.

“The North Country is home to many apple producers who help feed our communities and boost our local economies,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Given the market disruptions that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, our apple and specialty crop producers deserve to be included in this important USDA program as they get back on their feet. I am proud to advocate on a bipartisan basis with my upstate New York colleagues to make this essential change, and I will continue to work on behalf of our North Country farmers.”

“Many apple growers are hanging on by their fingernails, so USDA’s decision is great news and not a moment too soon,” said USApple President and CEO Jim Bair. “Growers usually take the risks of weather and markets in stride, but the impact of COVID-19 pushed many right to the edge. We thank and congratulate USDA for this welcome news.”