Gov. Lee announces $55M in farm, forestry COVID-19 aid

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has announced that farm and forestry businesses are getting $55 million in aid funded by the federal coronavirus relief package.

The Republican’s office says the Coronavirus Agricultural and Forestry Business Fund aims to help ensure the stability of the food supply chain and agribusiness during the pandemic.

The state Department of Agriculture says more than 1,000 applications with more than $335 million in requests were received, and 80% of applications will receive funding.

The state made it a priority to help meat processors, forestry businesses, milk processors and agricultural fairs. Officials say 60% of recipients were small businesses with annual revenue less than $1 million.

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