Today, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation, the Farming Support to States Act, to provide states access to immediate, flexible funding to aid in responding to urgent and emerging issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in America’s agriculture economy and food supply chain. Representatives Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) introduced bipartisan companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe impacts across America’s agricultural economy, and there is limited time to act in order to avert the worst shocks to America’s food supply and rural communities. The bipartisan Farming Support to States Act would help address this challenge by increasing the reliability of food access, stabilizing food supply chains, 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.
“Our farmers and food workers are serving our country by doing essential work every day to feed our country, but they are really feeling the dire economic impacts of this pandemic. As the coronavirus continues to threaten our rural and agriculture economy, I’m working across party lines to deliver federal support to states so our farmers have the tools they need to get through this economic crisis,” said Senator Baldwin. “Our bipartisan legislation helps address agriculture and food supply chain disruptions so our farmers can get their products to market and to consumers. We quickly direct resources to the states so they can work with food and agriculture stakeholders to stabilize the food supply chain and help prevent more severe economic losses for farmers in rural America.”
The Farming Support to States Act is supported by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).