In a speech at Colorado State University’s Salazar Center’s Virtual International Symposium of Conservation Impact, United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced $500 million for both African swine fever (ASF) prevention and relief from agricultural market disruption.
Another $1.5 billion will go to the Commodity Credit Corporation to help Haiti and the Dominican Republic deal with the economic troubles posed by the pandemic and climate change.
“With this action, we intend to do everything we can to protect our trade, our economy, our pork industry and the jobs connected to it,” said Vilsack.
“We’ll use these resources to support a robust expansion and coordination or monitoring, surveillance, prevention, quarantining and other activities to help eliminate risk while also shoring-up our efforts here in the US to prevent the disease from getting to the mainland.”
Secretary Vilsack says the goal is to keep producers on the farm rather than having to sell out.
“We’ll also tap the CCC to work with our traditional disaster programs to help farmers repair storm damage, reduce the high cost of feed, and pay down the high cost of transportation many livestock producers are now incurring to haul feed and water to their operations.
“American producers are frustrated by the fact that empty container ships are leaving our ports while agricultural products sit on the dock, waiting to leave our shores,” said Vilsack.
“While many school districts across the U.S. are now being told that shortages exist in the food normally ordered for school meals.”