Senators propose Farming Support to States Act
A group of Senators has proposed a federal coronavirus aid package they say would be more targeted to the needs of farmers.
Democrat Tammy Baldwin tells Brownfield the recently introduced Farming Support to States Act would allow for flexible, targeted help. She says, “The challenges vary from region to region which is why we’re setting up a partnership with the states, and particularly the state departments of agriculture.”
Baldwin says this legislation would provide states access to immediate, flexible funding and would work with states to increase the reliability of food access, stabilize food supply chains, and respond to severe food supply disruptions. “(We) tried to deal with farms and farmers through the Small Business Administration and its Paycheck Protection Program and its Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, and it just wasn’t a good fit.”
Baldwin says there needs to be flexibility for aid at the local level, which is why this legislation would create a state and federal partnership program so they can quickly direct resources to the states where they can work with food and agriculture stakeholders to stabilize the food supply chain.
Republican Susan Collins and Independent Angus King of Maine are working with Baldwin in the Senate. Democrat Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico and Republican Dusty Johnson of South Dakota have introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House.