Senators urge Perdue to take care of local ag in assistance package
A group of senators is urging Ag Secretary Purdue to take care of local agriculture as the USDA finalizes the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
In a letter sent to Perdue Thursday, the senators ask the agency to adjust the package payment calculation to better reflect the business models of local producers and amend the covered time period to more appropriately reflect when local producers experienced losses. They also request the development of an inclusion outreach plan to make sure all producers are aware of their benefits- including those with limited internet access and those who do not primarily speak English.
The group adds that local food producers are in the middle of high planting season and many do not have existing relationships with USDA, so they may struggle to learn about the aid before it runs out. The senators ask that USDA track farmer program participation and require receipt for service.
The letter was signed by 27 senators including Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois.