COVID Relief For AG

COVID Relief For AG

Maura Bennett
Maura Bennett

Outgoing House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson says there is something in the latest COVID relief package for some growers who were left out of the first relief program in March.

Peterson pointed specifically to the inclusion of ethanol producers who saw a drop in demand. Also included in the latest relief package are and livestock and poultry producers who had to depopulate herds and flocks as a result of supply chain disruptions.

The $900-billion bill also contains help for dairy farmers, funding for small and mid-sized livestock processors for federal inspections on increased demand. There are also animal health grants to state departments.

The bill includes $13 Billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). And there is a 15 percent increase in benefits for SNAP recipients for six months.

Peterson said, “The effects of this pandemic are still being seen all along the food supply chain,” “Folks are still struggling to get enough to eat, and farmers are still reeling from disruptions to the marketplace. This bill isn’t perfect, but it reflects a compromise and goes a long way toward getting us through this hard time and back to normal.

Some Republicans opposed the new round of stimulus checks as Democrats were pushing for the larger check. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says the work is not finished.

Schumer: We must do more. And when we come back in January, that will be job number one.

The bill contains stimulus checks for Americans making less than $75K a year. That’s $600 for every adult and dependent. $82 billion for schools $57 Billion for COVID testing, tracing, and vaccine distribution, $300 Billion for loans and grants to small businesses, $45 Billion for transit systems, and $300 weekly unemployment benefits for the next 10 weeks. Direct payments could be arriving by next week.

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