IDFA Emphasizes the Necessity of Food Availability and Security During COVID-19 Outbreak
SDDP has been in contact with SD federal legislative offices as well as SD Department of Ag regularly since returning back from the DC visit as things turned to relief legislation in various phases, and communicating any concerns with food chain especially the critical need to keep all links of the chain operational from farm to the grocery store and retail outlets. I have limited travel like most following direction from state, federal and employer guidelines; however, the local grocery store in Madison here seems to have little impact so far with shelves being stocked including dairy. One item I noted this morning unfortunately out of stock was salted real butter.
Another point of emphasis was that along with employee relief, farmers and farms may need attention in future phases of legislation to include mitigation for impacts created by the COVID-19 outbreak. In talking to legislative offices, this may come in the form of legislation or via USDA with an expansion of the Margin Facilitation Program (MFP) which has not a significant help to many dairy farmers. It may be they look to develop a program to include trade and COVID 19 impacts. This is just discussion at this point with lawmakers immersed in a myriad of issues trying to come up with a plan.