The farm bill agreement announced Jan. 27 by the House-Senate conference committee includes a provision authored by U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., cochair of the Senate’s Chicken Caucus, and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., to assist poultry growers during uncertain economic times.
The bipartisan Coons-Chambliss provision commissions a pair of studies on the feasibility of insurance programs to protect America’s poultry growers from catastrophic loss, such as disease outbreaks, and from bankruptcies of poultry integrators. The provision was passed as an amendment to the 2012 Senate Farm Bill and retained in the Senate’s 2013 Farm Bill, approved last June.
“Poultry growers and integrators employ thousands in Delaware and across the country, and provide healthy and delicious meals to consumers around the world,” Coons said. “When drought, disease, or other disaster strikes, the livelihoods of growers and the many who depend on them are put in jeopardy. These studies will explore the potential for insurance programs to help protect poultry farmers from catastrophic losses brought on by factors outside of their control. I am thankful to Senator Chambliss and the members of the conference committee for working with me to support our vital poultry industry.”
Sussex County is the birthplace of the modern broiler industry and produces more chickens than any other county in the United States. Delaware’s poultry industry supports 13,000 jobs and contributes more than $3.2 billion to the state economy.