The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319), providing additional relief to address the continued impact of COVID-19 on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses. The U.S. Senate passed the legislation last week, and President Biden is expected to quickly sign the bill into law.
The Act includes $7 billion for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and $15 billion for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program. Agricultural businesses have utilized both programs to ensure they can continue to operate during the pandemic.
Similar to previous COVID relief efforts, the legislation provides food assistance for those facing hunger through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) food and nutrition programs, including extending the 15 percent increase in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through September 30, 2021.
The American Rescue Plan also provides $4 billion to respond to COVID-19 disruptions in the food supply chain and makes long-term investments to increase the resiliency of the food supply in the future. This includes increased food donation, protection for food workers, infrastructure investments, and support for livestock and animal health.
Assistance to strengthen rural health care, including assistance for rural hospitals and expanded vaccine distribution, are also included in the legislation.
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.