Marshall Pushes for Additional Support for Agriculture Industry
WASHINGTON - U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D. this week signed onto a bi-partisan, bi-cameral letter to Congressional Leadership to include The Farming Support to States Act in the next COVID-19 aid package. The legislation would provide federal funds to states and other stakeholders to support America’s agriculture industry and help the industry better respond to disruptions in the food supply chain caused by COVID-19.
“More than 40 percent of Kansas economy is tied to agriculture and earlier this year, we saw the impacts of COVID play out in Southwest Kansas and in other food processing facilities across the state. I was on the front lines of that crisis and saw first-hands the disruptions COVID can create,” said Rep. Marshall. “While the packing plants are back to near 100 percent production levels, the impact on our livestock owners continues. We cannot continue to allow our producers and consumers to be hurt by disruptions in our food supply chain and should take steps now to prevent future problems. The Farming Support to States Act would allow for nimble responses to emerging issues so that our food supply remains as stable as possible in these challenging times.”
Introduced in May, the bipartisan Farming Support to States Act would help address this challenge by increasing the reliability of food access, stabilizing food supply chains, addressing the challenges of keeping the workforce safe and on-the-job, 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 and panicked herd and farm liquidation.
The legislation is supported by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).
“Farmers and ranchers across America are fighting to hang on through this crisis, having already been hit hard with a down farm economy and reduced trade markets long before the pandemic reached our shores. We are proud to be growing the food that fuels this nation, but time is critical in getting food from the farm to those who need it most. Farmers, ranchers and their rural communities must be able to work quickly with state and local governments to address day-to-day needs on the ground. This bill is a welcome bipartisan effort to help our country get to the other side of this crisis,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.
Congressman Marshall has also supported other legislation, including the RAMP-UP Act, which gives processors the tools to become federally inspected facilities, which widens their customer base and sell products across state lines while maintaining strong food safety requirements.