Usda, Mike, Mike Nag discussed on The Big Show
I'll ever twenty three on that. Big Show clock Secretary of Agriculture Mike Nag. Joining us here on the big show again today. Mike WanNa talk about two things today. We're going to get right After it I wanNA talk a little bit about the Corona Virus Food Assistance Program that was designed to bring some aid to livestock producers. That I also want to ask you about county fairs here in Iowa that coronavirus food assistance program. Though I think sign up is supposed to start this week and yet we don't have a lot of details Mike can you give us any more background? Or UPDATE US? That's right. Welcome back Bob yeah the? Usda did hold a a Webinar last week. And and frankly there were Kinda few details In that and and and yet we know that. Usda is working aggressively to try to get this done. I think undersecretary nor the made some comments Late in the week over the weekend that The package is currently awaiting White House approval. Which is which is how that works. Usda proposes something White House Office of Management and budget needs to approve and so it sounds like they're in the final stages of actually getting the the program rolled out so again remember. These are the direct assistance direct payments to producers really across the the landscape to help grain farmers livestock farmers impacted by the market disruption. So as I've been saying all along this is a good start. It does not include everything That we think that needed to help. Producers and in fact doesn't even include all of our producers egg producers are notably left out of this direct payment system the other piece remember. We've got direct payments and then we've also got. Usda making significant food purchases. I think the big number is by the end of this calendar year. They will have They're budgeted to spend around five billion dollars buying food and again those surplus products that that would have gone to food service. And and get that routed into The food helping to address food insecurity through food banks Food Pantries so It's still waiting for those details and I think staff at. Usda would be trained this week. Which is the surest sign that something's coming forthcoming on those payments? Because of you you train staff and then that's when when folks can start applying quick question on that as a follow up. I am guessing that the requests for probably Go further than what the money will revert you and being in first or is it something that's going to be applied equally? You know this is something that I I think. That's a good point. Bob And I think we all believe that there's probably a more significant market impact than what's currently being accounted for and in all likelihood you could see that situation develop just remember it as opposed to the paycheck protection program or some of the programs that have been run through Treasury is. That's those were operated as a as a first come first served that's not typically how. Usda operates And so I can't speak to that in its entirety but generally speaking we know that. Usda Concerned with and and usually roles programs out in a way that's fair and equitable and and so I just don't think it'll be run the same way that we saw. The P P P quick update on county fairs by my count Here we have Thirteen county fairs. That have changed plans in some way one of them in your backyard in Emmett's Berg. Have you heard anything else? Yeah this is you again. It's something we've talked a lot about here we we hate to see it and yet The folks those county fair boards or making the best decisions that they can given their circumstances on the ground and the folks that Iowa stayed with the four H. And and the folks that FIFA I know are continuing to look at ways to still hold competitions and for folks and so this is just one more. We're going to have to continue to to work our way through it. you know State Fair no the State Fair Board is is evaluating all options for the twenty twenty state fair. And so we're all I think hopeful that these things can continue but You know decisions have to be made. And and Boy I support those. They're tough tough calls. But we support decisions made locally. Yeah Hey Mike tough calls no doubt in hearing from some people making those decisions over the weekend to I was comforted a little bit too to see at the grocery store on Saturday. Mike For Meat Case. And yeah not maybe the cuts and the sizes that I'm used to for example twenty one pound pork shoulder opposed to seven and a half to eight or ten and a half to eleven that I usually see But but no shortage certainly At this time anyway yeah. I think that's a that's a good sign. I was in a grocery store over the weekend myself. I loaded up the smoker yesterday so had in there But a lot of a lot of pork in that smoker. But there were some other things too but Yeah I think generally what I've been seeing is that that that situation is improving some you've got grocers that are working hard to find new suppliers and as you say maybe carrying some cuts and purchasing from some places that they had traditionally done so. I think folks are grinding. It's still a challenging situation. We've got enough protein on the farm The processing capacity is still slow from from pork and beef standpoint. So I think we're you know we're running something like seventy one to seventy two percent on pork processing last week and nationally down about twenty seven percent on beef processing so this situation continues and that means we're still building that backlog of animals but I know grocers are working hard to try to find an in restaurants too as they open are trying to find product. Mike he gets the last word today. Thank you. We'll talk to you again tomorrow as we continue our kind of daily updates with you we appreciate. It sounds good secretary of agriculture. Mike Nag Joins US eleven. Twenty and we're going to continue doing that. It's good to hear from our First Guy. In agriculture especially as the situation is very fluid with not only aid programs but As you can see and Andy has a link There that'll keep you updated on any county fairs changing That he'll post on the website But that also as well very fluid situation talk markets with Jamie Co hockey about five minutes away here on the big show Newsradio ten forty.