U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), co-chairs of the Senate Chicken Caucus, have written a letter to the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) highlighting the severe impacts of COVID-19 on the U.S. chicken industry and requesting direct assistance for chicken growers and continued support for processing facilities.
Delmarva’s chicken industry has been hard hit by COVID-19 with processors reducing production as workers call in sick.
“When USDA allocates $16 billion in direct assistance for agricultural producers impacted by COVID-19, we’re strongly requesting that chicken farmers be included,” said Coons. “As chicken processing facilities in Delaware and across the country have reduced production, chicken growers have been forced to depopulate millions of healthy birds. These growers need assistance to overcome unprecedented disruptions in demand and processing facilities require resources in order to continue feeding our nation and providing the safest possible working conditions for their employees.”
“As representatives of states with substantial chicken operations, we strongly request that USDA provide direct assistance for chicken farmers impacted by COVID-19 and continue to provide support for chicken processing facilities,” wrote the senators.
A group of 16 senators joined Coons and Wicker in signing the letter, including Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Tim Scott (R-S.C.).
A copy of the letter is available here