The farmers in our district have been forced to endure the detrimental impacts of bad trade policies and an unfair Farm Bill. Our district is home to more than 5,000 farms and over 8,000 farm operators. Almost 20% of the land that makes up New York’s 19th is dedicated to farmland. We need to work together to protect our small and medium sized farms and the farming industry while also building out the necessary regional infrastructure to ensure that our farmers are able to have access to the $6 billion dollars of unmet demand for local and organically grown food in New York City.
The version of the Farm Bill passed by the House Agriculture Committee, of which John Faso is a member, gives the wealthiest 3% of farmers 40% of the subsidies. It adds loopholes allowing mega farms to collect millions of dollars a year in subsidies and it does this by cutting funding for conservation, risk management and outreach programs that would improve farming for our next generation.
I will work to protect our local farms, making sure that necessary subsidies reach the people who actually need it. Farmers I’ve talked with in our district have told me they don’t want aid, they just want to earn a livable income from their business. We should help them by passing legislation to conserve and protect our environment, provide access to credit and business training for small rural farms, invest in preparing the next generation of farmers in our community, and fund programs like SNAP and those incentivizing purchases at local farmer’s markets.
I am committed to listening to our local farmers and working hard to make sure their needs are put before those of any mega farm or big corporation.