FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2020
Contact: Hannah Packman, 303-819-8737
WASHINGTON – During a campaign rally tonight in Mosinee, Wisconsin, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would provide a second tranche of pandemic aid through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). He indicated that an additional $13 billion will be earmarked to offset farmers’ and ranchers’ pandemic-related losses; more information about how that funding will be allocated is expected to be provided by USDA at a later date.
In a statement, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Rob Larew conveyed appreciation for the financial support and urged that it be distributed to those who need it most. Citing economy-wide impacts and high unemployment rates, he also called on Congress to provide the relief hungry Americans and rural communities need to withstand this crisis.
“Even as restrictions ease, it is evident that farmers will be feeling the effects of the pandemic for quite some time. Markets have been slow to recover, prices remain low, and processing facilities are still backed up. While these challenges persist, farmers will certainly need assistance to stay solvent – and we are grateful that USDA is providing it through another round of CFAP.
“This support is absolutely crucial – but it is just as crucial that it is distributed fairly and equitably. The first round of funding, though greatly appreciated, was not without its flaws; not only did it favor large farms over smaller ones, it also sent millions of dollars to foreign-owned operations and excluded some farmers entirely. With Congressional oversight, we ask that USDA rectify these issues and ensure that payments are commensurate with demonstrated need.
“It’s important to note that farmers are by far not the only Americans in need of relief right now; millions are out of work and experiencing food insecurity, family-owned businesses are struggling to stay afloat, already strained rural hospitals are hemorrhaging money, and students without broadband access are falling behind in school. It’s unacceptable that it has been months since these groups have received any help at all; Congress must act quickly to provide the support that all Americans need to withstand this crisis.”
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.