U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today welcomed news of a two-pronged coronavirus relief plan for U.S. agriculture, including provisions that should benefit Mississippi livestock and agricultural producers hurt by price disruptions and market loss with the onset of the COVID-19 national emergency.

Hyde-Smith praised President Donald Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue as they unveiled the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program on Friday evening.  The program entails the distribution of $19 billion from the CARES Act.  Approximately $16 billion is to be provided in direct support to producers, while an additional $3 billion in commodities will be purchased to support food banks, nonprofits and faith-based organizations.

“Agriculture and livestock producers in Mississippi and across the country share in the extraordinary hard times facing our nation today.  Coronavirus Food Assistance Program resources can help support their operations and the products they produce to feed and clothe Americans,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee and Senate Agriculture Committee.

“President Trump and Secretary Perdue are due appreciation for standing by our farmers and ranchers, who have weathered some very tough situations in recent times.  I look forward to continuing to work with them as this program is implemented,” she said.

Under the first component of the program, beef, pork, dairy, produce, row crop producers, and others harmed by market disruptions may apply for direct payments funded through the USDA Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and $9.5 billion in CARES Act funding.  In all, $16 billion is available for the direct payments.

The second component involves the USDA using $3 billion to purchase excess inventories of meat, dairy, fresh produce, and other products for use by regional foodbanks and other nonprofit organizations.

In the weeks since President Trump signed the CARES Act, Hyde-Smith has engaged with the administration in promoting the interests of Mississippi and the nation’s agriculture and rural interests.

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Release from U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.