Washington — U.S. Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) led a bipartisan, bicameral letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting that he provide immediate assistance to cattle producers by using the resources provided in the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stabilization (CARES) Act, including the replenishment of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and additional emergency funding. Doing so would help facilitate the stabilization of farm and ranch income for producers who are facing market volatility in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic fallout.
“The COVID-19 outbreak has demonstrated the need for domestic food security,” the members of Congress wrote. “All farmers and ranchers are vital to our country’s ability to keep food on the table in a future pandemic or related crisis, and many producers, including young producers, are often highly leveraged and cannot fall back on years of equity in a time of crisis. As such, we urge you to quickly deliver relief to producers as we work to lessen the economic impact of this pandemic.”
Other delegates from Northern Ag territory who signed the letter include Montana’s Congressman Greg Gianforte and Senator Steve Daines, North Dakota’s Congressman Kelly Armstrong and Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds, and Wyoming’s Congresswoman Liz Cheney and Senators John Barrasso and Mike Enzi.
The full letter can be found here.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) applauded the letter. “America’s cattle producers have been hit hard by the unforeseen financial challenges brought on by this pandemic. We thank each and every lawmaker that showed their continued support to rural families by signing onto this critical letter,” said NCBA President Marty Smith, a family cow-calf operator from Wacahoota, Fla. “We remain hopeful that USDA can quickly deliver this relief to the cattle producers that so desperately need it.”
Office of South Dakota Senator John Thune
Northern Ag Network