Every day we use the food, feed, fuel, and fiber produced by American agriculture. In times of strain such as the COVID-19 pandemic, these men and women need allies more than ever. Fortunately, President Trump has made it a point to highlight the work rural communities do to feed America and the rest of the world.
In January, the American Farm Bureau came together to celebrate their 100th annual meeting. Since taking office, President Trump has attended this meeting every year. Before President Trump was in office, a sitting President had not attended this annual meeting since George H.W. Bush in 1992. This year, President Trump acknowledged the people behind our food production and said, “My administration understands that if we want to stand up for America, we must stand up for American farmers. If we want America to thrive and grow, then we must ensure that America’s farms flourish and prosper.” Recognizing the important work of those in the agriculture industry goes a long way.
Obviously, a lot has happened since his speech in January. However, President Trump has not wavered in his commitment to our farmers and ranchers. This is complemented by the CARES Act, which I supported, in part, because it included critical funding for agricultural producers, and replenished the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC).
This week, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) released their COVID-19 relief program for agriculture, the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). This program, largely funded through the CARES Act, will be implemented by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to provide needed assistance to the people who feed our nation. In this program, producers can receive compensation for declining commodity prices and specialty crop losses which occurred during the pandemic. Starting on Tuesday, May 26, farmers and ranchers can start applying through their local FSA office, and should expect to receive assistance within a week of applying. More commodity-specific details can be found at www.farmers.gov/cfap.
The President continues to stand behind his words of support by enacting programs like the CFAP. I enjoy hearing our farmers and ranchers know that the President is behind them. Before the pandemic, when I was traveling throughout the Third District – the number one agriculture district in the country – I heard how relieved folks are to finally have more discussions about rural concerns in the White House. President Trump attending the annual Farm Bureau convention is not just about delivering a speech, but also ensuring Administration policy delivers on a commitment to empowering rural America.
Just as I spend every day working to ensure federal policy meets the needs and reflects the realities of life in rural Nebraska, I am thankful to know the President is following through on his commitments as we continue to face this pandemic. Ag producers have a work ethic second to none, and I am glad the President is continuing his unwavering dedication to strengthening American agriculture.