USDA to purchase $42M in catfish for food assistance programs
WASHINGTON, D.C. (KAIT/Edited news release) - U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approval of Section 32 purchase of up to $42 million of catfish products for distribution to various food nutrition assistance programs, including charitable institutions.
Boozman, who led a bicameral coalition in support of the request, announced the details of the purchase while speaking at the Catfish Farmers of Arkansas’s annual convention in Hot Springs.
“This is great news. It means more catfish will be purchased to alleviate the constraints on producers’ stocks, and food insecure Americans will have additional nutritious, U.S.-grown food on their plates. It’s a win-win,” Boozman said.
In November 2022, Boozman led a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urging the purchases to help America’s catfish producers reduce the risk of financial insecurity they are facing as a result of sharply climbing inventories and rapid increases in feed costs.
“Catfish producers and processors are predominantly located in rural America. Due to historically high inflation across the economy, these communities continue to feel the burden of increased prices. Purchasing catfish will help to strengthen rural America and provide a nutritious, U.S.-grown product to families, children, and our communities,” the members wrote.
The following Senate and House members joined Boozman in sending the letter: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Rep. Barry Moore (R-AL), Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR), Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS) and Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS).
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