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Perdue Says All Ag                                                                      The Midwest Cattleman · April 23, 2020 · P10

             Part of $16 Billion                                               NCBA Responds To News

         Direct Payment Plan                                                     Of Beef Packing Plant

                                  By John Herath                              Closure Due To COVID-19
         All sectors of agriculture,  purchasing program trying
      including  produce, specialty  to  take  this dislocated  food           NCBA CEO Colin Woodall  through the marketplace at
      crops and horticulture, will  out of our supply chain that            released the following state- a time when cattle producers
      be included in a $16 billion  had been going into food ser-           ment regarding the recent   are  already  suffering  from
      direct payment plan to be  vice institutions and move it              announcement that JBS will  market uncertainty and eco-
      submitted to the White House  back into our food banks and            shutter its Greeley, Colo., beef  nomic hardship. Every mem-
      last week by USDA Secretary  other non-profits to help pro-           processing plant in the wake  ber of the beef supply chain
      Sonny Perdue. The secretary  vide the needed food for peo-            of the COVID-19 outbreak.         relies on processing plants
      also told Farm Journal Live  ple who are staying at home.”               "NCBA is concerned about  operating daily to keep prod-
      that the plan will also include       Perdue said the adminis-        the closure of the JBS-owned  uct  moving.  America's  cat-
      $2-3 billion in                                                       beef packing plant in Greeley,  tlemen and cattlewomen are
      food    purchas-                                                      Colo.  The company reports  hopeful that any beef process-
      es to be send                                                         the plant is closing for a two- ing plants which have been
      to  the nation’s                                                      week period after several em- slowed  or  closed  as  a result
      food banks.                                                           ployees fell ill. Beef produc- of  the  COVID-19  outbreak
         “This     first                                                    ers mourn the loss of the two  return to full operation as
      tranche is prob-                                                      employees who died as a re- quickly as possible.
      ably  going  to                                                       sult of the virus and we em-         "Currently, there  is  no
      16 to 18 billion                                                      pathize with plant workers  shortage of beef and consum-
      dollars,  16  [bil-                                                   who are being affected by the  ers can continue to be con-
      lion] in direct                                                       outbreak.  We also support  fident about the safety and
      payments        to                                                    President  Trump's  ongoing  wholesomeness of the prod-
      our producers,                                                        effort to keep America's food  ucts they are purchasing
      really in all of                                                      supply chain operational.         during this crisis. There is no
      our sectors, including cattle,  tration will re-evaluate the             "The closure of packing  evidence that COVID-19 can
      livestock, cow-calf operations,  direct payment and food pur-         plants during this crisis will  be transmitted by food or food
      hogs, as well as produce, spe- chase programs again later             have an impact on cattle and  packaging. However, it is al-
      cialty crops, commodities that  in the year to determine if a         beef prices. Plant closures  ways important to follow good
      have been hurt and then the  second tranche is needed.                or slow-downs have signifi- hygiene  practices  when  han-
      dairy sector,” Perdue said.           Farm Journal Live is a          cant regional and national  dling or preparing foods."
      “And other extraneous things  daily newscast  hosted by               implications that will ripple
      like horticulture. Any kind of  AgDay’s  Clinton  Griffiths
      ag producer will be available  streamed live at noon Central
      for direct payments. And then  every weekday on                                               the world's biggest pork pro-
      we're also going to have about                         TRUMP                            cessor, shut a U.S. plant indef-
      a two to three billion dollar                                          continued from page 3            initely due to a rash of corona-
                                                                            by the pandemic, forcing some     virus cases among employees

      LIFE                                                                  of them to throw out their sup-   and warned the country was
      continued from page 5              tail was dry, and now head-                                          moving "perilously close to the
                                         ing toward her momma, she            “We want to purchase as         edge" in supplies for grocers.
      ing and evening as I drove  stopped  and  stretched  just             much of this milk, or other          Some dairy farmers have
      through the herd, I began to  like you want to see a healthy          protein products, hams and        also been dumping milk be-
      suspect that, maybe, some- calf do. Her mother came to                pork products, and move them      cause  of  a  loss  of  their  regu-
      thing wasn’t exactly right.  her and led her in the oppo-             into where they can be utilized   lar  buyers,  and  laborers  and
      Searching the tree lines and  site direction from the rest of         in our food banks, or possibly    truckers are in short supply
      forested areas on the edge of  the cattle.                            even into international hu-       to work farms and deliver pro-
      the pasture, I found the new          That evening, I told Judy       manitarian aid,” Perdue said      duce.
      mother,  contentedly  chewing  about the cow and calf stay-           in an interview on Fox News.         The  National  Pork  Produc-
      her cud, but there was no calf  ing away from the herd for              The Department of  Agri-        ers Council, which represents
      in sight.                          so long.  “I wonder what’s         culture will spend up to $15.5    U.S. hog farmers, called on the
         As I exited the UTV, I  wrong?” I asked.                           billion in the  initial phase of   administration to help by pur-
      watched the cow’s eyes as             “Well, there is an outbreak     its plan to bolster the nation's   chasing more than $1 billion
      she looked down toward a  of scours, so she’s just practic-           food supply chain against the     in pork, and using it to supple-
      little creek branch that runs  ing social distancing.”                impacts of the outbreak, the      ment food bank programs fac-
      through the pasture. I slowly         Whoever said cows are           first big push to ensure the      ing  increased  demand  due  to
      walked in the direction of her  dumb? Must have been an ex-           pandemic doesn't trigger con-     rising unemployment.
      stare and, in a couple of min- pert.                                  sumer food shortages.                Lawmakers  and  other  in-
      utes, found the little calf lying                                       In the United States, sever-    dustry groups have also sup-
      as low and still as her mother                                        al beef and pork packing plants   ported the idea of government
      had instructed. Rousting her                                          have shut down as workers         purchases of farm goods.
      from her leafy bed, I could see                                       fall  ill  or  die  from  the  virus.
      that her nose was moist, her                                          Smithfield Foods, for example,    Reuters
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