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Spanberger: House Leadership Must Support Funding for Central Virginia Farmers, Include Language Greenlighting Market Facilitation Program Payments

HENRICO, V.A. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger—a Member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee—today released the following statement after reports that House Appropriations negotiators are considering the removal of language in the continuing resolution (CR) that allows the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to move forward with recently-announced Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments.

“In Central Virginia, farmers, agribusinesses, and our rural communities have borne tremendous financial strain due to the administration’s ongoing trade wars. As I travelled across our district during my Farm Tour last month, I repeatedly heard about the damaging long-term effects of these ill-advised trade actions. During this moment of great economic uncertainty in the rural economy, we need to stand with our farmers and their families—not withhold much-needed payments in an effort to settle political scores,” said Spanberger. “The upcoming CR should include the funding provision requested by USDA, so that MFP and Farm Bill payments can be distributed to Central Virginia growers as planned. Without these payments, we’d risk digging a deeper hole within the farm economy, and we’d turn a blind eye to the day-to-day challenges facing American farmers due to destructive and disjointed trade policies. As I continue to speak out against tariffs that harm our district’s producers, I’ll also keep fighting for Central Virginia farmers and the assistance they’ve requested and been promised.”

Sign-up for the USDA’s MFP program began last month, and Central Virginia producers can continue to apply through December 6, 2019. Click here for more information from USDA regarding the MFP program, and click here to download an application.