Vilsack says USDA should soon have results from COVID resources evaluation

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Vilsack says USDA should soon have results from COVID resources evaluation

The USDA is evaluating how coronavirus assistance has been allocated to ensure it goes to those who need it most in the ag industry.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the USDA should have preliminary results soon.

“To determine precisely what the need is out there. How many folks and how many groups and how many organizations and entities within the supply chain need help and assistance, who has received assistance, who has received some assistance but not enough and who hasn’t received any assistance at all,” he says. “We’re in the process of completing that analysis here and I expect and anticipate within in the next several weeks we’re going to be in a position to let folks know, at least preliminary, what our thoughts are as we go forward with these COVID relief packages.”

He says the USDA is also watching the American Rescue Plan.

“That’s going to provide additional resources and so we wanted to make sure that we understood and appreciated the full range of need and the full range of resources that might be potentially available before we made decisions about how to best allocate those resources,” he says.

Vilsack says the fact that Congress has identified some entities that didn’t receive adequate assistance indicates the need to be thoughtful about resources.

“That’s why we continued the signup for CFAP and that’s why we’ll continue the signup once we lay out the plan,” he says. “As we lay out that plan, we’ll give people additional opportunities and an additional 30 days to sign up.”

Vilsack spoke during the closing general session of the 2021 special edition of Commodity Classic.