NCBA President Marty Smith Encouraged By Government Aid Program And Packing Plant Progress
Oklahoma Farm Report†
22 May 2020
Two of the nationís major farm groups, the National Cattlemenís Beef Association and American Farm Bureau, were asked to participate in the Coronavirus Food Assistance program announcement this week at the White House. NCBA President Marty Smith represented his group and worn his cowboy hat to the White House, saying that wearing it inside at the event was at the direct request of the President.
Like a lot of government programs, it is rather confusing, Smith said, as his group spent a great deal of time deciphering exactly what the government program provides.
For all cattle producers there are funds available on a per head basis, Smith said.
There is also money available for specific losses between Jan. 1 and April 15. If cattle producers had sales during that time, they have the option of getting compensation for direct losses. If they did not sell any cattle during that time there will be some payment on a per head basis, Smith said.
Smith expects the $5.1 billion earmarked for cattle producers will be quickly distributed and farm groups are working with Congress to make additional funds available.
We were told from the beginning that this would be a first step in the process, Smith said.
This program still has a few shortfalls, Smith said, pointing out there is nothing specific for stocker cattle and not much relief for cow/calf producers.
Much of the economic loss from the COVID-19 outbreak revolves around the closure of the packing plants. Smith, who is also a Florida rancher, said he is encouraged by the progress being made getting the plants operating again...
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