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CARES Act offers relief to agricultural producers

U.S. Senators late Wednesday passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The U.S. House of Representatives plans to bring the bill up for a vote as early as Friday. Representative Cindy Axne (IA 3rd District) speaks to provisions for Iowa agriculture, as well as her hopes for economic repreive moving forward.

Representative Cindy Axne (IA 3rd District) expressed thanks for House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (MN 7th District), who helped ensure the upper chamber included agricultural provisions in additional coronavirus-related legislation.

Congresswoman Axne relayed excitement over the replenishing of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), a federal corporation within the Department of Agriculture. Overall, Representative Axne seemed pleased with assistance offered to agricultural producers.

“One of the most important things is (that) it included $14 billion to replenish the CCC and almost $10 for additional assistance, including for our livestock producers. That was great news, and I’m going to continue to support this for our farmers,” Axne said. “It (also) includes an extra $9.5 billion to assist specialty crop producers and local food systems.”

The CARES Act offers additional funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as well as money for broadband grants, distance learning, and telemedicine.

Representative Axne continues to advocate for granting the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) maximum flexibility to assist farmers and producers in this unprecedented crisis.

“I wrote a letter to leadership to ensure we look at including that opportunity in there,” Axne said. “I’m hoping we’ll continue to see more support for the MFP, for all we’re doing in agriculture, and continue to move this agenda forward when it comes to the assistance needed for coronavirus.”

Many could stand to benefit from the Market Faciliation Program (MFP), shares Representative Axne.

“Certainly our farmers and ethanol organizations that have suffered greatly, as the result of small refinery waivers, exemptions that have been given to large companies. Dairy should benefit greatly, and livestock,” Axne said. “We’re seeing support across the board,for farmers and agriculture, and understanding how important it is to provide food for our country during this time.”