WASHINGTON – A consortium of 13 poultry-related organizations sent a letter to two leaders of a US Senate group representing chicken producers, requesting “direct financial assistance” to offset hardships related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The group’s letter, sent to Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) expressed appreciation from the country’s chicken farmers for the leadership provided by the co-chairs of the Senate Chicken Caucus and acknowledged the resilience and commitment of the producer sector to feed Americans.

“However, despite current efforts, the chicken supply chain is suffering greatly from the unexpected and devastating effects of the COVID-19 outbreak that has seriously impacted livelihoods and food consumption patterns,” the letter said.

The well-documented shift in demand from foodservice to retail and the ripple effects that have caused labor shortages, lower production volumes and supply chain interruptions have put significant financial strain on all livestock producers and chicken farmers are no exception, the groups said.  

“As these farmers cope with raising fewer chickens among changing and uncertain demand, we believe it is essential that they be provided with direct financial assistance, just as other farmers and livestock producers have been supported during the pandemic,” the letter read.

Farmers, livestock producers and food processors are among the country’s essential and critically important workers, the group said, and they warrant the support of the government during this historically challenging time.

“While the value of the work by our public health professionals, first responders, and public safety employees is unquestioned, we are grateful for your leadership in supporting our farmers who wake up every day to protect our food security,” the group’s letter concluded.

The letter was signed by the following organizations:

  • Alabama Poultry & Egg Association
  • California Poultry Federation
  • Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc.
  • Georgia Poultry Federation
  • Kentucky Poultry Federation
  • Mississippi Poultry Association
  • North Carolina Poultry Federation
  • Ohio Poultry Association
  • South Carolina Poultry Federation
  • Tennessee Poultry Federation
  • Texas Poultry Federation
  • The Poultry Federation
  • Virginia Poultry Federation