Hoeven, Boozman Lead Colleagues in Pressing USDA to Drop Vaccine Mandate for USDA Employees, Ensure Timely Services for Farmers and Ranchers

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, and Senator John Boozman (R-AR), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, today led 22 of their colleagues in writing to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to urge the department to drop its vaccine mandate for USDA employees and ensure that USDA is able to fulfill its mission to support farmers and ranchers.

“Following the president’s Executive Order and the subsequent USDA and OPM memos, we have heard concerns from our constituents that the vaccination requirement will negatively impact USDA’s ability to carry out its essential functions.  The potential termination of thousands of USDA employees will have sweeping impacts across the Department, from the inspectors who ensure the safety of our nation’s food supply to the firefighters working tirelessly to contain wildfires across the west.  According to the feedback we have received from our constituents, FSA county offices, already severely understaffed and overworked, will be among the hardest hit should the mandate go into effect.  At a time when producers are counting on the agency to deliver disaster relief, essential farm programs, and more, terminating employees for failing to comply with this mandate will be highly detrimental to farm country,” the senators wrote. 

 Hoeven and Boozman were joined by Senators Mike Braun, Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, John Cornyn, Tom Cotton, Kevin Cramer, Mike Crapo, Ted Cruz, Steve Daines, Joni Ernst, Deb Fischer, Bill Hagerty, Josh Hawley, Jim Inhofe, James Lankford, Roger Marshall, Jerry Moran, Jim Risch, Mike Rounds, Ben Sasse, John Thune and Thom Tillis.

Click here for the full letter.