Bentz Leads Successful Push to Open Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP-2) to Grass Seed Producers

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) applauded the decision by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to update the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP-2), which added growers of Kentucky bluegrass seed to the list of eligible recipients under the program.

In June, Congressman Bentz led a congressional letter to the United States Farm Service Agency requesting that critical pandemic assistance be available to local and regional farmers who grow Kentucky bluegrass seed for the turf and sod industry. The letter was signed by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), James Risch (R-ID), and Mike Crapo (R-ID), as well as Congressmen Russ Fulcher (R-ID) and Mike Simpson (R-ID).

In a statement, Bentz said, “I thank the USDA and my colleagues in U.S. House and Senate for working together to ensure Pacific Northwest producers of Kentucky bluegrass seed be included in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2. Over this past year, agricultural producers have been hit hard by drought as well as the coronavirus pandemic. This program provides vital assistance to farmers who experienced market disruptions in 2020 due to COVID-19.”

Craig Weigand, Jefferson County Oregon Seed Growers Secretary and Treasurer, said, “We appreciate Congressman Bentz leading the way and Senators Merkley and Wyden for joining the efforts to correct the determination of CFAP-2 eligibility for Kentucky Bluegrass Seed Growers.”

Kentucky bluegrass seed, much of which is produced in the Pacific Northwest, is packaged, shipped, and sold nationally and internationally for use by homeowners, landscapers, soccer fields, and golf courses.