By The Leader Staff
Rep. TJ Cox
Rep. TJ Cox

Local Congressman TJ Cox this week issued a statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the $19 billion Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) designed to support farmers and ranchers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program includes:

Cox pressed the USDA to support those producers that are hurt the most by this crisis. He has urged the USDA to help a variety of different ag producers.

"We've fought hard to get our farmers and ranchers and those who depend on a strong agriculture economy what they need to weather this crisis," said Cox. "I will continue to fight hard to ensure our farmers and ranchers are able to do what they do best and that is to continue to feed the world. I'm proud to represent the largest ag district in the largest ag state, and my team and I are here to serve the Central Valley at this difficult time."

Direct Assistance for Farmers and Ranchers 

USDA will provide $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers including:

Producers will receive a single payment determined using two calculations:

The payment limit is $125,000 per commodity, with an overall limit of $250,000 per individual or entity. Qualified commodities must have experienced a 5% price decrease between January and April. 

USDA is expediting the rulemaking process for the direct payment program and expects to begin sign-up for the new program in early May and to get payments out to producers by the end of May or early June.