When Hard Work Isn’t Enough: How NY Farms Became a Casualty of the Trade Wars


When Hard Work Isn’t Enough: How NY Farms Became a Casualty of the Trade Wars

Dairy Farmers in Crisis

Our dairy farmers have been hit hard by Trump’s trade wars. The Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) reports a $1.1 billion drop in dairy sales in 2018, a 7.5% decrease from 2017. The 2017 Census of Agriculture, published in April, highlights the declining number of dairy farms in our district since 2012.

  • Seneca County: 30% 
  • Tioga County: 25% 
  • Chautauqua County: 22.5%


Family Farms are Struggling

Historically low prices, difficulty getting access to credit, immigration laws that restrict hiring seasonal workers — on top of a heavy state tax burden — and the ongoing Trump trade war are all driving down profits. As nations have slapped retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural products, a glut of milk, soybeans, and corn have flooded the domestic market. 

The USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), partly dismantled and relocated under the watch of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, reports that farm incomes have continued to decline under the Trump Administration, down 50% since 2013. 

“Things like conservation, rural development, food assistance, have just been de-emphasized” in favor of the administration’s preferred topics, said one economist who left ERS because of the relocation plan.” Source: Politico

…And what has Tom Reed done for our farmers?

  • In 2012 he stonewalled an immigration reform proposal that could have helped address work visas for our farmers; since then he’s voted to fund an unreasonable ‘Wall’ and shown a lack of leadership on reasonable immigration reform.
  • Reed supported President Trump’s $12 billion tariff-relief plan that has done precious little to help the farmers in the district.  
  • He delayed the 2018 Farm bill and voted for the government shutdown that closed the offices of the USDA, an agency which will face catastrophic cuts if the White House’s fiscal 2020 budget is passed.

Our farmers deserve better representation in Washington. I will fight for affordable healthcare, access to broadband internet, reasonable immigration laws, and a fully funded and efficiently run USDA.


In case you missed it…

A Local Farmer on the Trade War 


“I’m affected by the trade war most definitely,” said Anthony Marco, a third-generation small dairy farmer in Jasper, NY. “I don’t sell milk directly to China, but when it stops taking American dairy, that drives down the price of the whole market. Trade wars affect everyone. We are all in it.” (9/11/18)


Farmers’ Dwindling Share of the American Food Dollar

Source: National Farmer’s Union

The National Farmer’s Union (NFU) recently reported a troubling statistic: “For every dollar American Consumers spend on food, U.S. farmers and ranchers earn just 14.6 cents.” This data is based on a report issued in March by the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the USDA. According to the NFU, “this value marks a 17 percent decline since 2011 and the smallest portion of the American food dollar that farmers have received since the USDA began reporting these data in 1993.”

Tracy and Teddy in Chautauqua
Tracy and Teddy are enjoying getting to know their neighbors in Chautauqua. Tracy has been busy listening to the concerns of new and old friends, while Teddy has been happily exploring the beach at Sunset bay! 

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