Farmers Given Government Assistance Following Bird Flu Outbreak

Photo by Zachariah Smith on Unsplash

( – Last week, the state of Michigan announced that dairy farmers would receive financial government assistance following the bird flu outbreak. 

The state’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) noted in its announcement that the assistance would be available for up to 20 farms and that it amounts to up to $28,000 per farm. According to the most recent data there have been at least 25 dairy cow herds in Michigan that have been affected by the flu. 

The announcement notes that farmers would need to collaborate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Veterinary Services as well as with the state department during the epidemiological investigation into the affected farms. The farmers will also be required to take part in the dairy herds’ “real-time longitudinal studies research” with Michigan State University and MDARD. 

Tim Boring, the director of MDARD, noted in his own statement that they understood the unprecedented challenges currently faced by farmers and that through this move they would help support them. He added that those farms that have dealt with the effects of the bird flu have been very cooperative with the efforts to fight against the disease. He further pointed out that these research opportunities would provide them with the necessary science to develop a rapid response. 

The bird flu H5N1 strain has started to not only affect livestock but also dairy farm workers, as it has been noted that at least three dairy workers have contracted the disease. Two of those were reported in the state of Michigan. 

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