Gardner Encourages Colorado Agricultural Producers to Apply for New Coronavirus Relief
USDA announces new relief for farmers and ranchers provided by the CARES Act
Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) encouraged agricultural producers in Colorado who have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2). This new program provides additional relief and adds additional commodities to the eligibility list from the first round of relief made available. The USDA will begin accepting applications for CFAP 2 on Monday, September 21. More information about this relief program and applications are available at www.farmers.gov/cfap.
“We’re blessed that we have farmers and ranchers in Colorado who wake up each and every day and work hard to put food on our table. But they’re struggling right now, and we need to provide additional assistance,” said Senator Gardner. “I’ve called on the USDA to provide as much relief and support as possible for agriculture producers in Colorado who are facing disruptions because of COVID-19, and I encourage farmers and ranchers in Colorado to apply for this new program. We must do everything possible to support farmers and ranchers through this pandemic to keep our domestic and global food supply secure.”
Funding for this new program was made available in part by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law on March 27, 2020. You can read more about Senator Gardner’s actions to protect Coloradans from COVID-19 here.
Gardner has requested significant support for Colorado agriculture producers during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- In September 2020, Gardner voted for the Delivering Immediate Relief to America’s Families, Schools, and Small Businesses Act, which would have provided an additional $20 billion in support for agriculture producers if Senate Democrats did not obstruct the package from moving forward.
- Gardner wrote to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue in September 2020 requesting that resources made available through the CARES Act be used to provide support for wheat farmers that includes assistance for all classes of wheat.
- Gardner cosponsored bipartisan legislation in July 2020 that would allow the USDA to authorize emergency haying and grazing on land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) during a pandemic like COVID-19.
- In June 2020, Gardner hosted U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in Colorado and held a Farm Bureau stakeholder roundtable in Keenesburg, where they discussed COVID-19 relief for agricultural producers.
- In a letter to his Republican colleagues in the U.S. Senate, Gardner called for changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to provide additional relief to small agricultural producers.
- Gardner, Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), and 26 U.S. Senators urged President Trump to eliminate payment limits for livestock, dairy and specialty crop producers in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
- Gardner, Bennet, and Colorado Governor Jared Polis made a unified request for CARES Act changes to benefit Coloradans, including modifications to the PPP that would ensure small agricultural producers who employ individuals under the H-2A program can have their payroll expenses count for loan forgiveness purposes.
- Gardner and Bennet sent a letter urging the USDA to ensure the needs of Colorado’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities are met as the agency allocates disaster relief funds.
- Gardner sent a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue calling on the department to extend assistance to the dairy industry, which has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Gardner and Bennet requested the USDA to take additional steps to provide relief for farmers to ensure the continuity of food supply during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Gardner and a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators urged the USDA to provide maximum flexibility to farmers by ensuring that temporary flexibilities on farm loans announced by the Farm Service Agency were made permanent during COVID-19 and ensuring adequate and equitable access to credit during this period of market uncertainty.
- In April 2020, Gardner wrote to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting that he provide immediate assistance to cattle producers by using the resources provided in the recently enacted CARES Act.
Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.