South Dakota Delegation Supported Provisions to Help Farmers and Ranchers Included in Latest Coronavirus Relief Bill

The $2 trillion stimulus package includes billions of dollars for U.S. agriculture. A quick analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation shows agriculture is set to receive $49 billion. Of that, $14 billion is provided to the Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation, and $15.8 billion is provided to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program. Meanwhile, $9.5 billion is provided to the office of the Secretary for livestock and specialty crops, and $8.5 billion is provided for Child Nutrition Programs. Additionally, the funding includes $450 million for commodity assistance, $100 million for broadband grants, and $25 million for distance learning and telemedicine efforts. The agreement opens the door for a potential third round of Market Facilitation Payments through the Commodity Credit Corporation, originally created to help farmers as the Trump administration carries out its trade agenda. Funding an additional round of payments through the program is a request from many groups in agriculture.

 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) applauded passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes provisions the delegation helped secure to support South Dakota farmers and ranchers. Specifically, the CARES Act includes $14 billion to replenish the U.S. Department of Agriculture Commodity Credit Corporation. This legislation would also provide a $9.5 billion emergency appropriation to support certain producers, including livestock producers, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

“While we don’t know the full impact of this outbreak across the agricultural community, we do know this: Our producers are doing their part to keep the grocery shelves stocked and food on our tables,” said Thune. “I’m glad those who were at the negotiating table with us agreed to provide these critical resources that are necessary to support our agriculture community and bring swift relief to South Dakota’s number-one industry.”

 

“No corner of our country is immune from the impact of the current COVID-19 crisis,” said Rounds. “I’m glad our COVID-19 relief legislation helps our farmers and ranchers, who are already suffering from low commodity prices and the loss of overseas markets, among other things.  I’m especially grateful we were able to get direct support for our cattle producers, who are seeing record losses despite a growing demand for U.S. beef. We’ll continue to seek ways to support our ag community so they can continue to put food on the table, particularly during these challenging times.”

 

“While most of America is stuck inside, our farmers and ranchers are out in the fields making sure our people get fed,” said Johnson. “Turbulent markets leave many things uncertain, but producers deserved a seat at the table, and that’s why we successfully fought for emergency relief for farmers and cattlemen facing unpredictable markets during the COVID-19 outbreak.”