With passage last week of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes support for livestock producers, there have been various inaccurate rumors circulating about how payments will be calculated and distributed. It is important to note that no payment formula or timeline was included in the stimulus bill. It simply designated funds to be used to provide relief for agricultural producers, including livestock producers. USDA will be developing an aid program in the weeks ahead and KLA and NCBA staff will be there to advise the agency on how best to target these disaster relief funds.
While livestock producers are not ones to ask for government assistance, the KLA Executive Committee, NCBA officers and several other state affiliates felt the pandemic was unprecedented and severe enough to ask Congress for disaster assistance, much like would be the case in response to a major wildfire, flood or drought. As a result, the cattle industry requested to be part of the CARES Act to allow USDA to deliver a one-time payment to help provide relief to those that have experienced losses. KLA staff worked with Kansas State University agricultural economists to estimate the level of damage this virus has caused the cattle sector. KLA and NCBA staff then worked together to communicate this information to members of Congress to ensure an adequate amount of funding was included in the legislative package to aid livestock producers. Click here to view an Executive Summary of the CARES Act assembled by KLA staff.