“I’d like to thank Under Secretary Northey for meeting with Rep. Costa and me to talk about the plight of growers in the Central Valley,” said Rep. Cox. “I have been in constant contact with farmers and ranchers in my district, and have heard their frustrations and need for help. These hardworking people are in dire need of assistance that can be provided through CFAP. I hope that after our discussion today, the USDA works quickly to develop new criteria and deployment of resources that help ensure that the farmers and ranchers who work hard every day to make sure our country is fed during this pandemic are able to weather this current crisis.”
"California is the largest agricultural state in the nation and the most diverse. Forty-four percent of our agricultural products are exported. Therefore, it's important the USDA understand this when developing the next Coronavirus food assistance program to support commodities that have been severely impacted as a result of this pandemic. Crops like pima cotton, raisins, and wine grapes, among others, were left out of the first round even though these crops have been hard hit by the pandemic. Fruits and vegetables, of which California produces over half the Nation’s supply, overall received a much smaller share of relief funds. USDA must develop an equitable program and remember that not all impacts are measured simply by price loss. Agriculture is a national security issue, we need to treat it as such. It’s my hope that the USDA understands the tough times we are facing in California in producing food for our nation,” said Rep. Costa.