WASHINGTON, DC (NEWS RELEASE) — Today, Representative Ronny Jackson (TX-13) and two of his West Texas colleagues, Representatives Jodey Arrington (TX-19) and August Pfluger (TX-11), delivered a letter to the House of Representatives and Provides Senate guidance on Appropriations Committee to support Texas cotton industry. Specifically, the letter calls for funding for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Emergency Relief Program (ERP) for crop year 2022 and adequate support for cotton infrastructure – particularly cotton ginning – to mitigate the devastating production losses suffered by farmers and ranchers this past year.
Jackson said: “Texas cotton farmers help clothe the world, making their operations vital to the state and global economy. Texas is the country’s largest cotton-growing state, with the High Plains region alone accounting for 65% of production. The devastating drought we’ve experienced this year is a serious threat to everything our cotton farmers have built, and it’s something Congress cannot ignore. The cotton industry is critical to the success and vibrancy of the communities I represent in TX-13. I am proud to lead my colleagues in this effort to ensure Texas cotton farmers have the resources they need to thrive for future generations and that cotton gins weather the devastating effects of this year’s drought be able.”
Arington said: “Farming is the lifeblood of rural economies like West Texas, and all Americans benefit from a safe, affordable, and abundant food source. Unfortunately, producers across the country have experienced unprecedented challenges this year – from historic drought conditions to record input costs, supply chain disruptions and labor shortages. Congress must maintain a reliable and stable food supply to ensure food security for all Americans.”
Pfluger said: “Texas agricultural producers and the programs that allow them to keep working are vital to national security. Our farmers and ranchers have endured several tough years. Without an extension to the Emergency Relief Program (ERP), this year’s losses will be devastating to our communities that support and depend on agriculture. Congress must provide this relief immediately.”
Kody Bessent, CEO of Plains Cotton Growers Inc. said: “Plains Cotton Growers Inc. fully supports the request for an extension of the emergency aid program funds for crop year 2022. In addition, we support that adequate support be provided to cotton infrastructure segments to help mitigate the economic challenges they continue to face. In 2022, Texas was hit by one of the most catastrophic droughts on record, adversely affecting our cotton producers and infrastructure segments, particularly cotton ginning. PCG fully supports and appreciates the bipartisan effort led by Representatives Ronny Jackson, Jodey Arrington and August Pfluger and other members of the House and Senate, and recognizes the challenges facing the cotton industry. We look forward to working with Congress to ensure these key initiatives are included in the upcoming Omni legislative package.”
Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening said: The Texas Farm Bureau thanks Congressmen Ronny Jackson, Jodey Arrington and August Pfluger for leading a bipartisan letter to key appropriators requesting that disaster funding be extended through crop year 2022 Year. We are pushing for these provisions to be included in the budget for FY2023 and look forward to continuing to work on solutions to keep farmers and ranchers alive.”
You can find the full letter here here. Other co-signers include Reps Kevin Brady (TX-08), Pete Sessions (TX-17), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Michael Cloud (TX- 27). ), Lance Gooden (TX-05), Troy Nehls (TX-22), Pat Fallon (TX-04), Jake Ellzey (TX-06) and Brian Babin (TX-36).
- TX-13 is the top ranked farming district in Texas and the second largest cotton district in the country.
- In September 2021, Congress approved funding for emergency relief efforts, which included speech Jackson authoredfor production losses suffered in the calendar years 2020 and 2021.
- In January 2022, Jackson introduced his colleagues to the posting Letter to Secretary Vilsack requesting that the USDA immediately administer the Disaster Relief payments approved by Congress. In response, the USDA established two multi-phased programs, including ERP.
- Jackson is now leading efforts to re-approve the successful ERP program for crop year 2022.
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