The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has purchased $42 million of catfish products for distribution to various nutrition assistance programs, including charitable institutions.
Members of Mississippi’s congressional delegation led the way in securing this transaction by sending a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
The letter requested for Vilsack to use “Section 32,” a permanently-authorized program, to make emergency purchases of surplus U.S. commodities, such as Mississippi catfish, for distribution to domestic food assistance programs.
Section 32 purchases assist U.S. catfish producers with reducing the risk of financial insecurity resulting from sharply-climbing inventories and increases in feed costs.
USDA provided notification of the purchase approval on Wednesday.
U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., U.S. Representatives Trent Kelly, R-Miss., and Michael Guest, R-Miss, as well as former Congressman Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., were all involved in the process.