The Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority has distributed $11.2 million in aid to 175 poultry growers affected by the 2008 bankruptcy of chicken processor Pilgrim's Pride.

The company's closing of its Farmerville plant in 2009 affected more than 300 poultry suppliers in Louisiana and Arkansas. Other growers were hit in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas, and more than $60 million in total aid has been distributed. "This money will literally help some of the growers make back payments on their mortgages that will allow them to keep their farms," said Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.