On National Farmers Day, Rep. Cleaver Gives Thanks to Missouri Farmers and Ranchers, Applauds USDA Actions to Provide Relief


Date: Oct. 12, 2021
Location: Washington, DC

On National Farmers Day, U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) released the following statement giving thanks to farmers and ranchers across the state of Missouri. Additionally, Rep. Cleaver is highlighting recent actions taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to deliver more opportunities and fairer prices for farmers, strengthen the food supply chain, promote competition, and provide relief to small producers, processors, distributors, and farmers markets impacted by COVID-19.

"The men and women who work their backs off to keep food on the table of American families are owed an enormous debt of gratitude for their service to the nation," said Congressman Cleaver. "On National Farmers Day, I want to express my sincere appreciation for the farmers and ranchers across the state of Missouri for all that they do to keep families fed and our nation strong. Their work ethic, selflessness, and dedication to others are a shining example of what makes America great, and I will continue doing everything I can in the halls of Congress to ensure they have the support and freedom needed to do what they know and love."

Last week, as part of the Administration's efforts to address the food supply chain challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, the USDA announced plans for another $100 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act--which Rep. Cleaver supported in March. The funding will be used to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars more in lending to expand meat and poultry processing capacity and finance other food supply chain infrastructure that will help to deliver more opportunities and fairer prices for farmers. This funding is in addition to the $500 million announced in July by USDA out of the American Rescue Plan to support new competitive grants in the meat and poultry processing markets. More information and specific details on when to apply and eligibility standards are available here.

Additionally, the USDA announced last week the opening of the new Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program--which will provide assistance to small businesses in eligible commodity areas, including specialty crop producers, distributors, processors, and farmers markets. Eligible small businesses and nonprofits will be able to apply for a grant to cover COVID-19-related expenses incurred between January 27, 2020 and December 31, 2021. Grants will cover expenses such as personal protective equipment, retrofitting facilities for workers and consumer safety, medical costs, and more. The minimum funding request is $1,500 and the maximum funding request is $20,000.

Individuals can find more information on the PRS Grant Program here. Rep. Cleaver highly encourages individuals to reach out to his Higginsville District Office if they are in need of assistance when applying for these grants.