Texas Farm Bureau statement on COVID-19 relief and Omnibus package
The following statement may be attributed to Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening following the announcement of a new COVID-19 relief and Omnibus package. This statement reflects information as of 2 p.m. today.
“Texas Farm Bureau is pleased Congress has acted to provide roughly $13 billion in additional direct assistance to farmers and ranchers who continue to struggle with uncertainty caused by COVID-19. We are also proud to see an Omnibus included that provides added security for the farm safety net.
“Supplemental assistance will be provided for farmers with crops included under the USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to help with the many challenges they have faced this year. Additional support is secured for cattle ranchers who have experienced extreme market volatility due to the pandemic. The legislation creates a livestock dealer trust to protect ranchers from dealer payment default, which provides additional coverage for ranchers during the uncertainty of COVID-19 and moving forward.
“Our nation’s hardworking dairy farmers will also see more support provided through Dairy Margin Coverage and dairy donation programs. Additionally, we are pleased assistance for contract growers of livestock and poultry is included in the COVID-19 package, as well as provisions to help with supply chain issues.
“In addition to pandemic related provisions, the Omnibus provides critical funding to combat cattle fever ticks and feral swine. It also includes an anomaly to fully fund the commitments made to farmers under the Wildfires and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) for both 2018 and 2019 crop years. Texas Farm Bureau will continue working with leaders of Congress and other states to provide an extension of WHIP+ for the 2020 crop year.
“We thank the many Congressional leaders in Washington who worked diligently to provide meaningful end-of-year support to Texas’ farm and ranch families. We look forward to our continued work in the new year.”