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Following a call with members of the Iowa Poultry Association and the Iowa Egg Council about the unique hardships facing the state’s egg producers, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy, is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support egg farmers impacted by COVID-19.

In a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, Ernst is urging the department to include egg producers in the Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program and to consider purchasing liquid egg product to distribute to families in need.

In the letter, Ernst writes, “Our farmers and ranchers are doing their part to help the nation navigate the effort to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Iowa’s egg industry is no different. Iowa is home to over 55 million egg laying hens. Most of Iowa’s egg production goes toward supporting our nation’s commercial food service. With restaurants and other commercial facilities closed down or limiting operations, our egg industry has seen a drastic drop in demand and as a result some have had to dump product.”

Ernst goes on to ask, “Egg producers need to be included in the recently announced Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program. Receiving direct support will help these farmers survive this impossible time. USDA should also consider making purchases of liquid egg product to distribute to families in need.”