Economic stimulus package would provide relief for cattle producers
A vote on the nearly $2 trillion economic stimulus package is expected today in the Senate.
The package would provide $14 billion to the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation and $9.5 billion for livestock, specialty crops, and local food systems.
Ethan Lane, vice president of government affairs, with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, says NCBA is pleased that the package includes assistance for cattle producers, but challenges are ahead.
“That’s a pretty big group of stakeholders to have to share that same pot of money given the scope of this issue,” he says. “We’re grateful that they included something for us, but we’re now going to have a job ahead of us to ensure that our producers that are continuing to endure quite a bit of financial hardships are able to stay in business and keep that supply chain of beef moving to the grocery store because we are part of that critical infrastructure the president has talked about and keeping those store shelves full for consumers is our number one priority right now.”
He says there are other aspects of the package that should help cattle producers.
“We’ve asked for flexibility in loan repayment, access to low interest loans, and there are a lot of options available,” he says.
Lane says the cattle industry hasn’t typically asked for payments like this in the past, which speaks to the nature of the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
He says he’s hopeful the Senate and House will act quickly on the package.