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Maloney Statement on COVID-19 Agriculture Funding

Apr 17, 2020
Press Release

Maloney Statement on COVID-19 Agriculture Funding

Newburgh, NY - Tonight, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled a $19 billion aid program for farmers and producers, which will include both commodity purchases and direct payments to impacted farmers. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) released the following statement:

“This is welcome news for Hudson Valley farmers. If implemented in a fair and comprehensive way, this program will be the lifeline that keeps our farms afloat and provides food for struggling families. Congress will continue to support America’s agriculture industry, and I will continue to fight for our hardworking family farmers here in the Hudson Valley,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.

Hudson Valley farmers have faced collapsed markets and limited product demand as schools, restaurants and businesses shutter temporarily during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to supporting impacted farmers and producers through emergency supplemental funding, a bipartisan coalition of New York Members of Congress recently called on USDA Secretary Perdue to support the dairy industry and processors as markets close across the state.

According to the USDA, $16 billion will be appropriated in direct payments to farmers, while $3 billion will be used to purchase dairy, meat and produce, which has seen a decline in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purchased commodities will be distributed to food banks and other organizations. The funds were appropriated through Congress’s recently passed Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and other existing authorities.

The CARES Act provided $9.5 billion in emergency funding for agriculture producers impacted by the coronavirus, including producers of specialty crops, producers that supply local food systems, and livestock producers. The $2.2 trillion bill also expanded the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Children Nutrition Program, and The Emergency Food Assistance Program. Rep. Maloney supported the CARES Act.

Rep. Maloney serves on the House Agriculture Committee.