Agriculture organizations says they must be included in disaster relief


A total of 31 agriculture organizations have called on the U.S. Small Business Administration to include ag in the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, which is part of the coronavirus relief package.

“Agricultural producers and businesses are critical elements of this nation’s economy and food system. Prior to COVID-19, farmers and ranchers had already experienced a drastic 24-percent decline in net farm income from highs experienced just six years ago. With the further downturn in the economy, agricultural businesses are at risk of closure and may be required to lay off employees,” the letter stats.

Currently, the SBA website states that applicants must certify that they are “not an agricultural enterprise” despite the actual text of the CARES Act not excluding agricultural business, rather it says all businesses under 500 employees can participate in the program.

“Farmers and ranchers are the critical first link in America’s food supply chain. The pandemic’s impact on agriculture is coming in waves due to dramatic changes in demand, falling commodity prices and supply challenges,” Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said. “Farmers must have access to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, as Congress intended, to ensure America continues to have access to healthy, affordable food.”

You can read the full letter here.