In response to the ongoing efforts to provide relief to Americans impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane issued the following statement:
“As the country reels both economically and emotionally from the spread of COVID-19, NCBA has been hard at work ensuring that cattle producers remain able to focus on the national infrastructure priority of keeping high-quality beef available to consumers.
“Meeting that challenge requires federal officials at the Departments of Agriculture, Transportation, Interior, Treasury, and more to have a full understanding of how our product gets from the pasture to the plate – and we’re extremely proud to tell that story.
"In these challenging times, that story is about the strength of our cattle-producing families and what they need to weather this storm. COVID-19 has dealt a tremendously challenging hand to producers across the country. These highly volatile markets cannot be allowed to force our ranching families out of business just when consumers need them most.
“In order to combat this staggering burden, NCBA has been actively engaged with leaders in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to ensure that relief funds from any aid package reach these struggling cattle producers directly. It is important that any such relief avoids the lasting market-altering effects of a price support program, such as those that have been proposed by some members of the Senate. Instead, we must keep the focus on providing quick, targeted relief to struggling producers. While the effects of COVID-19 will be felt across the country, we must ensure we avoid permanent, fundamental changes to workings of the American cattle market. We applaud Senators and Representatives from across the country who are working to provide those solutions using proven avenues such as the Commodity Credit Corporation as administered through USDA.
“Americans always rise to the challenge in times of need and the work of these officials in Congress and in the administration during this trying time is a testament to that great tradition. We thank each of them for their efforts and stand ready to assist moving forward.”