Ag plows ahead on pandemic front lines

By Chuck Grassley and Mike Naig
Posted 4/22/20

As crop farmers charge ahead into the spring planting season, livestock producers are putting in longer hours to keep meat, dairy and eggs on the grocery store shelves.

As a leading producer of …

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Ag plows ahead on pandemic front lines

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As crop farmers charge ahead into the spring planting season, livestock producers are putting in longer hours to keep meat, dairy and eggs on the grocery store shelves.

As a leading producer of corn, soybeans, pork, eggs, meat and renewable fuels, consumers around the world depend on Iowa to feed their families, stock their pantries and fill their gas tanks. Thankfully, we have the people and resources to get the job done.

Community stewardship defines the renewable fuels industry in Iowa, as well. Renewable fuels producers across the state have shifted production to manufacture hand sanitizer to help meet the needs of Iowa hospitals and local communities.

When these companies flagged a regulatory hurdle to doing this, we worked to cut red tape so they could help.

From our leadership positions in the U.S. Senate and as Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, there’s no daylight between our efforts to support Iowa farmers and our state’s renewable fuels industry.

At the federal level, we’re making the case to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to use the Commodity Credit Corporation funds to help the biofuels industry get through this crisis. We’re working in lock-step with Iowa’s leaders in our state’s food, agriculture, fuel, and critical manufacturing industries to keep supply chains up and running.

At the state level, that means working with Gov. Kim Reynolds to support the entire food and agriculture community. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is providing information to ag producers and businesses while also supporting consumer protection through essential inspections.

At the federal level, this also means holding the line for our cattlemen while minimizing disruptions to the food supply.

Protecting the health and safety of employees who work at processing plants is of the highest importance. At the same time, we have to make sure this emergency isn’t giving cover to market manipulation and other illegal activity by meat packing executives.

Attorney General William Barr and USDA Secretary Perdue have the authority to launch an investigation into this, and we’re glad the USDA has launched its look into price fixing by beef packers.

Cattle producers need competitive markets to get a fair price. We look forward to the USDA’s report as soon as possible.

 

Chuck Grassley represents Iowa in the U.S. Senate. Mike Naig is the Iowa secretary of agriculture.

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