Farming, especially family farming, is a very hard business that requires long, difficult hours--hours much longer than the average American worker works.
- A quote from a Western New York dairy farmer – “In the last farm bill, they offered ‘milk insurance’. We bought into that. It was a disaster. Very little money paid out and it took a lawyer to understand the 150 options. It was very complicated. The program was so bad they discontinued it this year although it was supposed to run until 2018. The MILC program worked in the old farm bill. With MPP (insurance), it no longer works.”
- This was echoed by a Western New York vegetable famer who has not been paid for damaged crops he paid insurance on that has been due for almost two years.
- ICE and CBP are hurting and infuriating farmers by targeting a critical part of their labor force and in some cases ordering them off the property their families have farmed for generations during raids.
- For only the second time in the last 100 years, the number of farmers under 35 years old has increased as a result of the growing number of young people starting local, sustainable foods farms.
I support in the next farm bill an insurance program that works.
I support an immigration policy that both allows farmers their needed laborers, and protects immigrant and seasonal laborers from exploitation.
I support farm workers’ abilities to organize.
I support stronger assistance to smaller and family-owned farms and less assistance to major agri-businesses based on the subsidies for corn, wheat and other crops. Many crops have never had subsidies and survived well. The majority of farm subsidy checks go to urban addresses indicating large agri-businesses in many cases.