Senators ask about specific COVID-19 help for American dairy farmers

Apr 15, 2020, 6:45 PM
Senators seek help for farmers post-pandemic world...
File photo. Credit: Getty Images.

SALT LAKE CITY — Business closures and slowdowns due to COVID-19 safety measures have had an especially devastating impact on the American dairy farmer.

Approximately 50% of dairy products are sold to institutional accounts like schools and airlines. When that business dries up, dairy farmers have no other choice than to throw the milk down the drain and wait for things to get better.

Add the shrinking markets in Asia, and the trouble faced by America’s agricultural community becomes even more clear.

Senators asking for reassurance for American dairy farmers

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) has reached out to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to assure that money set aside for agriculture in the CARES Act, is spent as it was intended to be spent.

“It was the intent of Congress that the secretary of Agriculture, Secretary Purdue, would use those funds to stabilize prices and stabilize the market,” Romney said, in an interview with KSL Newsradio.

“We’re calling on the secretary to use those funds as intended, to help our ranchers and farmers.”

The CARES Act and American dairy farmers

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020. It provides $100 billion in relief funds to hospitals and healthcare providers. It is also intended to be used to counter healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue that can be traced to the virus.

The bill signed March 27th was the third phase of a stimulus package intended to help employers, employees, families, and individuals navigate the financial impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

So where do agriculture providers fit in?

A letter sent to Agriculture Secretary Purdue from Sen. Romney and 13 other Republican senators addresses that question.

“The Congress provided several ways in the CARES Act to help the dairy industry,” the Senators said in the letter. “We urge you to develop strong measures to help mitigate the current market upheaval so that the dairy industry can survive this crisis.”

Specific needs of American dairy farmers in the CARES Act

According to the Farm Bureau, the immediate needs of the American agricultural industry in the wake of COVID-19 are addressed in the CARES Act in several ways. It offers financial assistance so that the children of low-income families have access to healthy and affordable food.

It assures continued funding for the CCC, or the Commodity Credit Corporation, by which the U.S. government assists with domestic farm income, price support, and conservation programs. The CCC also assists with the development of foreign markets.

The Act also helps farmers specifically with $9.5 billion “to provide financial support to farmers and ranchers impacted by COVID-19 coronavirus … specifically for specialty crops, producers who supply local food systems and farmers’ markets, restaurants and schools, livestock producers, i.e. cattlemen and women, and dairy farmers.”

Do what the bill intended

“We’re calling on the Secretary [of Agriculture] to take action and use those funds as intended to help our ranchers and farmers,” Senator Romney told KSL Newsradio.

“We’d like Secretary Purdue to use this CARES Act funding in a much more robust way.”






Today’s Top Stories

Business + Economy

utah employment...
Alejandro Lucero

Annual Golden Key Awards presented to local businesses

Golden Key Awards recognize the people and businesses who believe in Utahns with disabilities, said a press release. Nine businesses were recognized today.
1 day ago
A group breaks ground on the Best Friends housing project in Kanab....
Britt Johnson

Best Friends Animal Society building housing for employees in Kanab

Best Friends Animal Society houses its headquarters and sanctuary in Kanab, Utah -- along with about half of its employees.
1 day ago
The Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City is pictured on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret N...
Lindsay Aerts

Silicon Summit announces statewide expansion

Silicon Summit will announce their plans for expansion. Starting next year, the two-day summit will be held over one week.
1 day ago
kia markups...
Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN Business

Kia, once the ‘value’ brand, now has the biggest price markups

On average, Kia cars and SUVs are selling for about 6% over their sticker price, according to data from
2 days ago
intermountain healthcare...
Mark Jones

Name change coming to Intermountain Healthcare next year

In 2023, Intermountain Healthcare will change its name to Intermountain Health.
3 days ago
Inland Port Authority Plan...
Becky Bruce

The plan to build an inland port/commerce hub is on hold

The announcement comes about a week after a state audit suggested that the Utah Inland Port Authority needs a master plan.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Senators ask about specific COVID-19 help for American dairy farmers