U.S. Reps. and colleagues on the House Agriculture Committee, Kim Schrier (D-WA), Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) have introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to address the urgent issues facing America’s agriculture economy and food supply chain caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Specifically, the Farming Support to States Act would provide states access to immediate, flexible funding to ensure farmers and rural businesses have the tools needed to respond and rebuild. U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Angus King (I-ME) introduced bipartisan companion legislation in the Senate.
“This pandemic has been especially difficult for farmers who sell anywhere other than to supermarkets. They have crops that cannot wait to be picked and sent to market,” said Rep. Schrier. “Unfortunately, most of those markets — restaurants, farmer’s markets, farm to school programs— are not available right now, at a time when more families than ever face food insecurity. We need to be flexible and nimble in our response to all facets of the coronavirus pandemic. This includes support for farmers and agricultural businesses. The Farming Support to States Act will give states the ability to quickly and effectively direct money to the people that need it most.”
As farmers and producers across the United States continue to face severe impacts from COVID-19, there is a limited time to act to avert the worst shocks to the nation’s food supply and rural communities. The bipartisan Farming Support to States Act would help address this challenge by increasing the reliability of food access; stabilizing food supply chains; responding to severe food supply disruptions; preventing and reducing catastrophic losses of livestock, milk, produce and other products; and stabilizing our rural economies by reducing the impact of agriculture market shocks.
Rep. Schrier’s support for the Farming Support to States Act is just her most recent action advocating for Pacific Northwest farmers and agricultural businesses. Earlier this month, Rep. Schrier introduced the Farmers Feeding Families Act, which would provide states with direct funding to get excess products from local farms to their local food banks. Schrier has also sought feedback from Washington farmers about their needs and has done direct outreach to farmers about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). CFAP allocates $16 billion in direct payments to farmers, with $2.1 billion specifically for specialty crops, which is the majority of the 8th District’s crops. In April, Rep. Schrier spoke with USDA Under Secretary Ibach about the CFAP program and made sure that USDA is prioritizing the needs of Washington farmers and their specific needs.
The above is a press release from the office of Congresswoman Kim Schrier,
M.D. (D-Issaquah, 8th CD). The Auburn Examiner has not independently
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