U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced additional aid to agricultural producers and businesses as part of the USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, including chicken growers who have yet to receive financial assistance during the pandemic.

This decision comes two weeks after U.S. Representative John Rose (R-Tenn.), with the support of U.S. Representative Steve Womack (R-Ark.), U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and a bicameral, bipartisan coalition of 42 House Members and 15 Senators, sent a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting that he use his authority to expedite a rulemaking process to administer direct payments to contract poultry growers who endured a loss in revenue due to market disruptions and forced or suspended production at processing facilities as a result of the pandemic.

Rep. Rose said, “Tennessee’s contract poultry growers were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with many small and family-owned farms suffering substantial financial losses, threatening their businesses’ survival. We owe a great deal to those who provide our safe and stable food supply, and I was proud to help lead the bipartisan, bicameral push for aid on behalf of our contract growers.

“Although past due, I am glad USDA is stepping up to provide this relief and I look forward to working with them to get this vital aid to our contract growers as quickly as possible,” said Representative Rose.

Payments are scheduled to be administered by USDA within the next 60 days.

Rose is an eighth-generation farmer, small business owner, and attorney, and currently serves on the Financial Services Committee. He is currently serving his second term representing Tennessee’s Sixth Congressional District and resides in Cookeville with his wife, Chelsea, and their two sons, Guy and Sam. Rep.

The Sixth District includes Cannon, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, White, and Wilson counties as well as portions of Cheatham and Van Buren counties.