Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

Farm Bureau Looks for Solutions to Feeding the Hungry

News / In The News April 13, 2020

The American Farm Bureau Federation and Feeding America are asking the USDA to create a voucher program that would allow farmers to get food from their fields to America's food banks. The coronavirus pandemic has caused an increase in demand at food banks.

"As you are aware, food banks are under tremendous pressure to meet the skyrocketing demand," Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Feeding America CEO, and Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau, wrote in a letter addressed to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Friday. "At the same time, however, we are seeing literally tons of agricultural goods being discarded because of the shutdown of so much of the economy."

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A battle over a farmer’s right to use and care for his own land is one step closer to being resolved. A determination by the director of USDA’s National Appeals Division admonishes the Natural Resources Conservation Service for failing to obey its own rules, favoring a farmer who battled NRCS for more than a decade. The decision is a welcome signal that concerns from across the countryside about NRCS conservation compliance are being heard.

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As the House and Senate consider legislation to tweak the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, the American Farm Bureau Federation is asking lawmakers to make the program fully accessible to farmers and ranchers by allowing them to increase their net farm income through all rental income, farm equipment trades, breeding livestock and other documented sources of income.

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