Ernst’s efforts lead to federal pandemic relief funds for liquid egg producers

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) on Wednesday applauded action by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to include liquid egg producers in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which supports farmers or ranchers whose operations have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m thankful to Secretary Perdue and the Trump administration for heeding our calls and getting these folks support,” Sen. Ernst said.

Specifically, CFAP provides federal assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who suffered a 5-percent-or-greater price decline or who had losses due to COVID-19 market supply chain disruptions and face additional marketing costs. USDA announced on Aug. 11 that liquid eggs and frozen eggs are eligible for CFAP, and producers may begin submitting CFAP applications the week of Aug. 17.

USDA’s announcement follows a June 2 letter that Sen. Ernst, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig sent to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting that USDA provide CFAP funds for egg producers.

“Nearly 70 percent of Iowa’s layer flocks produce for the liquid egg market, and with COVID-19 forcing restaurants and other egg-buying businesses to close or operate on limited capacities, these past few months have been tough on our egg producers,” said Sen. Ernst. “That’s why I joined Iowa leaders in pushing USDA to include egg producers in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.”

According to the senator’s office, the Iowa egg industry is responsible for as much as $2.6 billion in total economic activity, supporting more than 7,000 jobs and directly employing almost 2,400 people.