BY U.S. REPRESENTATIVE TOM COTTON –
Washington, D.C.— Congressman Tom Cotton today joined his fellow members of the Arkansas House delegation in sending a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack regarding Turner Grain Merchandising Inc., in Brinkley Arkansas. The letter calls on Secretary Vilsack to protect Arkansas farmers awaiting repayment from Turner by extending their loan repayment dates. We are writing to request USDA, through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), work to ensure that we do not disrupt a considerable portion of America’s most productive agricultural base because badly-needed funds were tied up in litigation. Specifically, we request the FSA extend the Commodity Credit Corp. loan repayment date for all farmers who are depending on payment from Turner Grain to pay off those loans. We recommend a period of 180-days to give farmers and the agricultural community in general some sense of assurance. Further, we recommend that the Agency revisit the extension after 90-days to determine if additional time will be needed beyond the current 180-days. “Secretary Vilsack has the capability to provide a lifeline to Arkansas farmers and protect Arkansas taxpayers from shouldering the burden of Turner Grain’s apparent business errors and mismanagement,” said Congressman Cotton. “I look forward to his prompt response to this important matter.” The full text of the letter can be found here.