WASHINGTON—Members of Congress from catfish-producing states are calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to use Section 32 authorities to facilitate the domestic consumption of U.S. farm-raised catfish, assist in stabilizing markets and provide much-needed income support to farmers.
The bicameral coalition, led by U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, sent 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 to send 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).
The letter can be read in full here.