AMS announces $470M in Section 32 purchases
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced that USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service will spend $470 million to buy a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and seafood products.
These Section 32 program purchases will provide additional support for producers and Americans in need, in response to changing market conditions caused by the COVID-19 national emergency, Perdue said.
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., in a news release today expressed confidence that Mississippi catfish producers and processors will benefit from a $30 million purchase for distribution to food banks and community support programs.
“The coronavirus has depressed the market for catfish and other commodities, and Secretary Perdue is right to exercise his power to use an existing program to purchase surplus food that can be directed toward food banks,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.
“Mississippi producers and processing facilities will benefit from this action which is really a win-win for them and for people who need help getting food during these difficult days,” she said.
Hyde-Smith noted that Perdue is using his authority under Section 32, a permanently-authorized program, to make emergency purchases of surplus U.S. commodities for distribution to domestic food assistance programs. The program is funded through a 30% appropriation of the previous year’s customs receipts collected by the federal government from imported products.
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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is expected to sign SB 21-87, known as the Farm Workers Bill of Rights, though much of the content will be decided through the rulemaking process.