Washington, D.C. (February 24, 2021)—“The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives supports Congress’s efforts to craft a legislative package to address the ongoing economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the vaccine roll-out across the country points towards the light at the end of the tunnel, the economic disruption and displacement caused by the pandemic remains widespread. In particular, the agriculture and nutrition assistance contained in the package provides needed aid to farmers, rural communities and families facing food insecurity.
“The past 12 months have strained the food and agriculture supply chain—from farmers in the field to shoppers in the grocery aisle—to near the breaking point. Provisions in the proposal will help strengthen that chain. It will also continue additional purchases and distribution of food products to those most in need. NCFC also supports the increased funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is so vital as the pandemic continues to leave millions of Americans in search of jobs.
“Finally, in order to promote strong and resilient farms and ranches, the package recognizes the need for equity and inclusion in the sector. It contains important provisions, including debt relief and other assistance and support, for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. These provisions will better ensure that all producers can come out of the pandemic ready to feed, clothe and fuel their fellow Americans and billions of people across the globe.”
Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America’s farmer cooperatives. Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn composed of nearly 2,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country. NCFC members also include 26 state and regional councils of cooperatives. Farmer cooperatives allow individual farmers the ability to own and lead organizations that are essential for continued competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets.
America’s farmer-owned cooperatives provide a comprehensive array of services for their members. These diverse organizations handle, process and market virtually every type of agricultural commodity. They also provide farmers with access to infrastructure necessary to manufacture, distribute and sell a variety of farm inputs. Additionally, they provide credit and related financial services, including export financing.