Economic viability is a deep concern for many sectors in agriculture, especially with declining farm incomes and low prices of recent years. Farmers must be profitable, so they can continue to provide the food Americans need. For the egg industry, the challenges of recent years have included not only the ups and downs of market prices but the devastation of the highly pathogenic avian influenza.
Keeping animals healthy and food safe must be a priority in every Farm Bill. As part of the Animal Agriculture Coalition (AAC), egg farmers and industry advocates were successful in securing the funding needed to support these priorities. Specifically, the current farm bill provides $300 million in mandatory funding and establishes a permanent spending authority. These funds are being used to safeguard livestock and poultry from the introduction and spread of animal diseases through investments in emergency preparedness, analysis and surveillance, and education and outreach. In addition, funding is provided to enhance the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank to help safeguard against a potentially debilitating impact on livestock and grain farmers.