Iowa Leaders Call for Support for State’s Turkey Producers

In a letter to USDA, Senators Ernst and Grassley, along with Governor Reynolds and Ag Secretary Naig, are urging the department to provide federal assistance to farmer-owned cooperatives and independent turkey growers.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), both members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, along with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, are calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide assistance, through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), to turkey producers across the state.

In a letter to USDA Secretary Perdue, the Iowa leaders write: Plant closures and reduced flocks remain a growing threat to our turkey growers, and food supply chain. Our independent turkey growers stand to lose disproportionately compared to other corporate-owned growers due to increased exposure…There are numerous farmer-owned cooperatives and independent growers who are being left out of assistance in CFAP and we ask that USDA recognize the unique business structure of many turkey operations and help find a solution in order for these producers to receive federal assistance.”

Ernst, Grassley, Reynolds, and Naig also say: “We would ask economists at USDA to work to devise a methodology and formula that allows this niche sector of the nation’s poultry industry to have the same opportunities provided to others in the pork, cattle, and sheep industry. We are convinced a verifiable formula structure can be developed. USDA already has demonstrated an ability to calculate the value of turkeys when indemnifying for animal disease losses and making Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) payments. Those formulas almost certainly could serve as a basis for calculating lost value.”

To read the full letter, click here.