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July 07, 2020

In Their Words: Praise for Inhofe's RELIEF for Producers Act of 2020

Leaders in the agricultural community praised Sen. Inhofe for introducing the Responding to Epidemic Losses and Investing in the Economic Future (RELIEF) for Producers Act of 2020, legislation that would provide relief to livestock and poultry producers amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. The bill would support producers that are faced with euthanizing their animals due to COVID-19, provide resources for animal health laboratories as they develop solutions to defend against emerging animal disease spread and give additional authority to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary through the existing Commodity Credit Corporation Charter to deal with removal and disposal of livestock for any public health emergency moving forward. 

Click here for a comment from Sen. Inhofe and background on the legislation.

“Livestock and poultry producers have felt the devastating impacts of COVID-19 as shifts in demand and challenges in processing have arisen. The Relief for Producers Act offers some much needed relief to those producers and provides support to critical animal disease laboratories that have stepped up to support public health efforts during this challenging time. The leadership and recognition of the importance of protecting our agriculture industry by Senator Inhofe and his colleagues is very much appreciated,” said Blayne Arthur, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture. 

"We thank Senators Inhofe, Burr, Ernst, Grassley and Tillis for their support of U.S. hog farmers who urgently need federal assistance to address this unprecedented crisis," said NPPC President Howard "A.V." Roth, a producer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin. "While plant capacity has improved, millions of hogs remain backed up on farms due to the COVID-created bottleneck, one that could have a lasting impact on hog farmers. The RELIEF for Producers Act provides a much-needed lifeline to thousands of farmers who could otherwise go out of business, leading to consolidation and contraction of the U.S. pork industry. We urge Congress to work together to quickly pass much-needed legislation addressing this crisis."

“Hog farmers in Oklahoma and across the country are struggling as a result of COVID-19 challenges,” said Oklahoma Pork Council Executive Director Roy Lee Lindsey. “We need immediate help to support pork producers who generate more than 12,000 jobs and $473 million in personal income in our state alone. Without additional federal assistance, thousands of hog farmers may be forced to liquidate their farm assets, leading to a more consolidated and less competitive pork production industry. We thank Senator Inhofe for his work on behalf of Oklahoma’s pork producers during this difficult time for our industry.” 

“Oklahoma Farm Bureau appreciates Sen. Jim Inhofe’s work to address the critical challenges facing our livestock producers by introducing the Relief for Producers Act of 2020,” said Rodd Moesel, President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. “This legislation will provide relief to Oklahoma poultry and hog farmers who have experienced massive supply chain disruptions and historic losses during the coronavirus outbreak. Though the pandemic is far from over, the bill also will better prepare our livestock industry for future public health emergencies by increasing resources for animal health laboratories and expanding the authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation.” 

“We are grateful to Senators Inhofe, Grassley, Ernst, Tillis, and Burr for their support to the livestock industry in our nation,” said Carlos Risco, President and Dean of the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “The COVID – 19 pandemic has shown the vulnerability of our society to emerging diseases and the capacity needed for timely testing and surveillance. The livestock industry in the state of Oklahoma is no exception with the constant threat of the introduction of a foreign animal disease.  Inhofe’s leadership on this provision would improve animal health surveillance and expand testing capabilities of the Oklahoma State University Diagnostic Laboratory to avert the catastrophic effect that a foreign animal disease would have on the state’s livestock industry.”

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