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.