“This declaration allows farmers to do what they do best – feed U.S. consumers – in a time of acute need and anxiety,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “Agriculture is working around the clock to ensure timely delivery of safe, abundant food. That’s what farmers always do – but in a time of unprecedented public-health concern, a fully functioning food system is even more critical to national health and well-being.”
The administration’s designation of “essential critical infrastructure workforce” was announced today by the Department of Homeland Security. NMPF has been deeply involved with the federal government in food supply-chain discussions throughout the coronavirus crisis: Its senior vice president of regulatory and environmental affairs, Clay Detlefsen, is the private-sector chair of the Food and Agricultural Sector Coordinating Council, an industry-government collaboration set up after the Sept. 2001 terror attacks to share information between government agencies and private businesses.
“These key partnerships are firing on all cylinders,” Detlefsen said. “Agriculture’s appropriate designation as a critical industry should bring relief to farm families who want to help their country as well as to consumers who now know the world’s greatest agricultural producers can meet their needs unimpeded.”
Note: Listen to this podcast for more on Detlefsen’s role in the crisis and his thoughts on government response