The Department of Agriculture will purchase U.S. beef and chicken for nutrition assistance programs. The purchase intent follows a $50 million purchase announcement of milk for nutrition programs earlier this week. USDA is seeking to purchase up to $60 million in chicken products and an unspecified amount of beef. The National Chicken Council thanked USDA in a statement, saying the purchases will “help in balancing the supply and demand situation in the market.” The section 32 purchases are intended to encourage continued domestic consumption of the products by diverting them from the normal channels of trade and commerce. The purchases, USDA says, are part of the normal operations of administering Section 32 and are not related or associated with the authority or administration of possible purchases under Section 5 of the Commodity Credit Corporation related to trade mitigation. National Chicken Council president Mike Brown says the announcement is “a real victory” for chicken producers but adds “the real winners are the actual recipients” of the nutrition programs.