According to a press release from Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross, the representative has urged U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to aid poultry farmers during the current economic downtown.

The closing of the Pilgrim’s Pride processing plant in El Dorado, Ark., prompted Ross and eight other members of Congress to send a letter to Vilsack asking him to free federal resources to help the nation’s struggling poultry farmers stay afloat.

“The financial troubles of Pilgrim’s Pride and the imminent closing of their El Dorado plant jeopardizes the local economy and I believe that every available resource should be used to help the people of El Dorado recover,” said Ross in the release.

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“I am also deeply concerned with the tremendous financial burden this bankruptcy will place on contract growers in Arkansas, threatening our state’s overall poultry industry.”

The members of Congress sent the letter to Vilsack asking him to free a portion of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development funds to be used for short-term, low-interest loans or other forms of financial assistance such as disaster aid funding, according to the release.

“While this plan would offer temporary assistance to many poultry growers, the El Dorado processing plant must remain open in order to provide contracts to our growers,” Ross said.