AFB’s Zippy Duvall: Imperative farms and ranches are able to hold on…
American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall appeared on May 20’s ‘Fox & Friends,’ telling host Steve Doocy a “perfect storm” of challenges being weathered by American farmers is formidable, but he said, “Our farmers are out there every day to make sure our people are still fed.”
And, Duvall said, their stories are being told at #stillfarming, with social media posts providing both updates on the ag industry and glimpses into the lives of those who plow the fields, plant the crops and ship the food.
Zippy noted the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the storm to new heights, but he said farmers’ income has been in a decline for years – since 2012-’13 down some 50 percent, he said, as a result of the trade war with China and other natural disasters.
In a statement released on https://www.fb.org/newsroom/afbf-welcomes-announcement-of-cfap-direct-payment-details, he said that Farm bankruptcies increased 23% in March 2020 compared to a year earlier.
Referencing the May 19 announcement by President Donald Trump of $16 billion in direct payments to farmers from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will go to farmers who’ve suffered a 5 percent or greater loss and who are facing significant marketing costs due to COVID-19, Duvall said, “This aid can’t arrive soon enough as many farmers file for bankruptcy, facing unprecedented losses. We are grateful to the Administration and to Congress for sending aid to America’s farmers and ranchers reeling from the breakdown in distribution channels resulting from COVID-19. Although supply is strong, the shutdown of restaurants and school cafeterias caused the markets for meat, dairy and produce to shrink drastically almost overnight.”
He noted, “The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program is critically important, but the long-term effects of this pandemic are still rippling through the farm economy.”
View the May 19, 2020, #stillfarming video below, and let your onion farming voices be heard and include in your posts the #stillfarming hashtag.