Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

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New Report Highlights How Stagnant U.S. Public Funding for Agricultural Research Threatens Food Systems

March 25, 2021 | News Releases

Stagnant public funding for agricultural research is threatening the future vitality of U.S. food systems – posing risks to farmer productivity and profitability, the steady supply of affordable food for consumers, and ultimately global food security, according to a new report.
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AFBF and Farm Journal Foundation: U.S. Agriculture Needs More Public Research

March 25, 2021 | Newsline

Farmers and ranchers need more public research funding to stay competitive globally. Micheal Clements shares more on the need.
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COVID-19 Aid Released and Expanded to Include More Producers

March 24, 2021 | News Releases

USDA announced today its plans to distribute more than $12 billion under a program called Pandemic Assistance for Producers, which includes aid that had been put on hold as well as funds newly allocated in the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The program assists farmers and ranchers who previously did not qualify for COVID-19 aid and expands assistance to farmers helped by existing programs. Farmers will need to sign-up only if they are applying for new programs or if they are eligible for CFAP assistance and did not previously apply.
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Agriculture Must Be Prioritized for COVID-19 Vaccine

March 24, 2021 | News Releases

The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging the Biden administration to prioritize agriculture for the COVID-19 vaccine. In a letter sent to the administration today, AFBF President Zippy Duvall called for the elimination of barriers to vaccine access for America’s farmers and farmworkers.
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Statement on AFBF’s Dr. John Newton Joining Senate Ag Committee Staff

March 23, 2021 | News Releases

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall comments on the upcoming departure of AFBF Chief Economist Dr. John Newton to serve as Chief Economist for Ranking Member Boozman on the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry: “John’s ability to break down agricultural economic and policy information into meaningful and actionable analysis has been a tremendous asset to us and I am grateful for his dedication. With his strong leadership, our team of economists built our Market Intel reports into the go-to source for agricultural economic and policy analysis. “Although I am sorry to see John go, I am also pleased to know he will serve in such an important role informing decisions about legislation that will impact all of American agriculture. The Senate Ag Committee will be in good hands when it comes to understanding the impacts of farm and nutrition policies. “I wish John all the best in his new role and look forward to our topnotch team of economists continuing to provide impactful economic analyses to enhance the policy development and advocacy goals of this great organization.”
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National Ag Week Highlights Farmers’ Work During Pandemic

March 23, 2021 | Newsline

The agriculture industry is celebrating National Ag Week. As Micheal Clements shares, the week highlights the hard work by farmers and ranchers to keep Americans fed during the pandemic.
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U.S. Must Enforce Trade Agreements with Mexico

March 22, 2021 | News Releases

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall commented today on a letter sent to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai regarding the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship. “AFBF is extremely concerned with the rapidly deteriorating relationship between the U.S. and our neighbors to the south. We built strong trade ties with Mexico through NAFTA and improved upon them with USMCA, but recent moves by Mexico to limit American imports and to undercut prices in the U.S. puts America’s farmers and ranchers at a competitive disadvantage. “We urge Secretary Vilsack and Ambassador Tai to engage with Mexico and enforce the agreements between our two countries to ensure farmers have a level playing field and continue to lead the world in producing safe, affordable food.” Read the letter here.
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Industry Groups Raise the Alarm on U.S.-Mexico Trade Relationship

March 22, 2021 | News Releases

27 leading food and agriculture associations have sent a letter communicating growing concerns over the rapid deterioration of the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship to Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. The letter calls attention to alarming recent developments with regard to food and agriculture trade relationship with Mexico and urges action to address these challenges. Together, the group of associations represent much of the food and agriculture sector that is responsible for roughly one-fifth of the country’s economic activity, directly supporting over 23 million jobs – constituting nearly 15 percent of total U.S. employment. Signers include the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Soybean Association, Corn Refiners Association, International Dairy Foods Association, North American Meat Institute, National Grain & Feed Association, and the U.S. Dairy Export Council. The letter reads:
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2022 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year Contest Underway

March 18, 2021 | Newsline

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2022 Farm Dog of the Year Contest signup is underway. Chad Smith has more on how to apply for the popular competition.
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Farm Bureau Gives Back to Hungry Americans through ‘Harvest for All’

March 17, 2021 | News Releases

The farm and ranch families of Farm Bureau donated 53 million pounds of food and raised nearly $1.5 million to assist hungry Americans in 2020 as part of the organization’s “Harvest for All” program. Combined, the monetary and food donations totaled the equivalent of 53 million meals. These YF&R donation programs complemented Farm Bureau’s donations to support COVID-19 relief of $5.4 million and 1.4 million pounds of food, announced in January. Criteria for tracking Harvest for All donations included dollars and pounds of food donated by state and county Farm Bureaus, as well as volunteer hours, reported from the grassroots up as part of the annual campaign.
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