JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $22.7 million to Mississippi chicken farmers.

The grant comes from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 to provide economic relief to certain businesses experiencing losses from the Coronavirus pandemic.

United States Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said many contract chicken farmers faced substantial losses after processing facilities were forced to reduce or suspend production during the pandemic.

“Chicken farmers are a vitally important part of Mississippi’s agriculture. I appreciate the USDA awarding these funds and working with farmers to ensure they have the resources they needed following challenges associated with COVID-19,” said Wicker.

The money will go to 557 chicken farmers in Mississippi who were previously excluded from financial assistance from the USDA. Chicken egg contract producers in Mississippi will receive $400,000 of the money.