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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today joined his colleagues Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack asking the department to ensure swine producers and contract swine growers are eligible for the assistance Congress secured for them.

 

This bipartisan push to ensure swine producers and contract swine growers get access to the pandemic relief they were promised comes after the Biden administration neglected to mention any assistance for them in a Pandemic Assistance for Producers June announcement or in the latest July announcement on the Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program.

 

“Our livestock and poultry contract growers have been waiting patiently for USDA to provide financial relief that so many desperately need. We’re concerned that USDA’s announcement on June 15 – that described its intent to finalize this program within 60 days – only focused on poultry growers and made no mention of providing assistance to contract swine growers,” the senators wrote.

 

“Additionally, many pork producers have been waiting for USDA to roll out the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program swine top-up payments that was announced in January of this year,” the senators continued.

 

Late last year, Congress passed a bipartisan COVID relief package that included assistance to contract livestock and poultry producers, as well as to agricultural producers, growers, processors, specialty crops, non-specialty crops, dairy, livestock and poultry.

 

On January 15, 2021, USDA announced Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) 1 Top-up payments for swine producers with approved CFAP 1 applications. Those approved were to automatically receive a top-up payment of $17 per head increasing the total CFAP1 inventory payment to $34 per head. Under the Biden administration, USDA placed this under review and has since provided no update.

 

Full text of the letter can be found HERE.

Author: Press Release