USDA announced its intent to purchase up to $170 million of meat products – pork ($100 million), lamb ($10 million), chicken ($50 million), and catfish ($10 million) for federal food nutrition assistance programs, including food banks.  Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, “These purchases will assist pork, catfish, chicken and lamb producers who are currently struggling due to challenging market conditions and the high cost of feed resulting from the widespread drought. The purchases will help mitigate further downward prices, stabilize market conditions, and provide high quality, nutritious food to recipients of USDA's nutrition programs.”  The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) said, “This purchase will help pork producers who are struggling with the effects of this severe drought, which has adversely affected much of the nation’s corn crop.”  The commodities must meet specified requirements and be certified to ensure quality.  The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) purchases only products of 100% domestic origin.