Twelve Senators Urge USDA to Approve Bison Meat Purchase

(WESTMINSTER, CO, Oct. 2, 2020) -- Twelve U.S. Senators, led by John Hoeven (R-ND) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) sent a letter yesterday to USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach urging approval of the National Bison Association’s request for a $17 million purchase of bison meat under the Section 32 surplus removal program.

“More than ever, the bison industry needs support. An unanticipated over-supply of harvest-ready animals, drought across the heart of bison production territory, and the COVID-19 public health emergency have created an uncertain economic outlook,” the Senators wrote. “As you know, existing authority under Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1935 (Public Law 74-320) allows the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make purchases of farm products to be used for distribution through the federal food and nutrition programs."

Granting the National Bison Association’s $17 million purchase request would provide much needed stability and market relief for bison producers struggling in the current environment.” The Senators added.

As Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulation, Ibach oversees the Agricultural Marketing Service, which is considering the Section 32 request.

In addition to Hoeven and Bennet, Senators signing the letter were John Boozman (R-AR), John Barraso (R-WY), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Michael Rounds (R-SD), Tina Smith (D-MN), John Thune (R-SD), Cory Gardner (R-CO), John Tester (D-MT).

Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association, said today, “We deeply appreciate the support from these 12 Senators, and particularly the leadership from Senators Hoeven and Bennet, to support the bison producers across the United States. Their input to USDA is a very positive development for our request."