Sen. Roberts applauds federal aid relief for farmers
U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, recently applauded an announcement from President Donald Trump and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to alleviate agriculture sector hardships caused by the COVID-19 emergency.
“America’s farmers and ranchers are resilient, and these are incredibly tough times,” Sen. Roberts said. “Delivering this much needed relief expediently and efficiently will help producers manage their operations, as well as put food on the tables of folks who need it most.”
The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will distribute $19 billion to support farmers, ranchers and consumers, it was reported. Direct payments totaling $16 billion will assist producers of beef, pork, dairy, row crops, produce and others whose markets have been disrupted or lost due to the COVID-19 emergency.
USDA will use $3 billion to purchase and distribute excess produce, dairy and meat to local and regional food banks and non-profit organizations.
“I thank President Trump and Secretary Perdue for listening to our input and delivering resources during this trying time,” Roberts said. “I will continue to engage with the Administration to make sure the needs of rural America are heard and addressed.”
On March 27, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which included $9.5 billion in funds to assist agricultural producers, as well as additional resources to partially replenish the Commodity Credit Corporation.
Additionally, Congress provided flexibility for the Secretary of Agriculture to purchase commodities for emergency distribution in the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act.”