Representative Smith Policies For USDA to Help Farmers

Black and white cow in green field.

Black and white cow in green field.

U. S. Congressman Jason Smith provided a list of policies to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help farmers and producers in the wake of this coronavirus. This proposal outlined what steps President Trump can take and what policies he can support to ease the burden on farmers. This proposal had five parts, as follows.

Direct Payments To Farmers And Producers

These direct payments utilize the CCC’s resources to provide disaster relief across the spectrum.

Flexibility And Access To Low- And No- Interest Loans

American farmers need flexibility. Loans need to be low or zero interest. These same loans need to be simple to apply for while having generous repayment periods. The loans need a quick turnaround time from application to receipt. The FSA needs to increase borrowing limits. The USDA needs to issue advances on the farmer’s ARC or PLC. Disaster assistance programs need to be repurposed for direct and immediate assistance. The repayment period for loans needs to be extended without interest.  The Farm Credit System leaders need encouragement in finding creative ways to assist.

Forest Products

Any relief package needs to include forestry workers also.

Regulatory Relief

The government needs to continue to seek ways to provide further flexibility in the movement of supplies. Federal and state resources need to focus on this pandemic rather than new regulations.

Broadband Access

USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program needs to increase its funding.

The direct proposal can be found here Representative Smith worked diligently studying local farmers in southern Missouri and what concerns them most before writing this suggestion.

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