NCBA and OCA Cheer Congressional Letter to USDA Urging Immediate Help for Beef Cattle ProducersWed, 01 Apr 2020 22:30:41 CDT
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) applauded a congressional letter that was sent today to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue, urging swift relief for American cattle producers who have been adversely impacted by the ongoing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The letter was signed by a bipartisan group of over 145 lawmakers from both chambers of Congress.
“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.”
In the letter, lawmakers called on USDA to move quickly to help cattle producers- "We request that USDA consider data and estimates available from the Office of the Economist and implement a program that would directly respind to the negative effect on producers caused by COVID-19. This program should deliver targeted, temporary, equitable relief to cattle producers in a manner that limits market distortion and negative effects on price discovery."
The letter was led by Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) in the Senate, and Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-Calif.) and Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) in the House of Representatives. Other notable signers include Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Senate Agriculture Appropriations Chairman John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Senate Agriculture Appropriations Ranking Member Jeff Merkley (D-O.R.), House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), House Agriculture Ranking Member Mike Conaway (R-Texas), House Agriculture Appropriations Chairman Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), and House Agriculture Appropriations Ranking Member Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.).
The Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association also cheered the letter that was signed by all seven members of the Oklahoma Congressional Delegation. Executive Vice President of the OCA, Michael Kelsey offered this statement of support- "This package includes important relief aid to cattle men and women. While we would much prefer to rely on the market rather than government relief, it is important this aid be quick and equitable. We appreciate all of Oklahoma’s delegation agreeing and signing on to this important letter to Secretary Purdue."
The recently-enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included provisions that replenished USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation’s borrowing authority back to the statutory cap of $30 billion, as well as made $9.5 billion in new appropriations available for use by USDA to assist livestock and specialty crop producers impacted by COVID-19. The letter echoes NCBA’s position that USDA must implement these new authorities as quickly and equitably as possible.
You can read the full letter by clicking on the PDF link at the bottom of this story and stay up to date with the latest on NCBA’s response to COVID-19 by clicking or tapping here.
Source- NCBA and OCA
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