After Troubling Response, Rep. Delgado Invites
Secretary of Agriculture to NY-19
to Hear Directly from Struggling Farmers
Washington, DC--When Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue was asked by U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) what could be done to help small dairy farmers in Upstate New York, Perdue replied that economics of scale are destined to impose certain harsh consequences on small farmers. He called the challenges facing dairy farmers "intractable." Perdue added that he would not be "compelled to keep anyone in business if it's not profitable."
Watch the full exchange during the February 27 Agriculture Committee hearing here.
Delgado, feeling that Perdue's response was wholly inadequate, sent a letter today inviting the Secretary to New York's 19th Congressional District to hear directly from farmers whose livelihoods have been jeopardized by low prices, market consolidation, and lack of access to local resources. . . .
In his letter to Perdue, Delgado said, "Priorities dictate policies. And when it comes to your Agency's priorities, I believe a reassessment is necessary. Family-owned farming operations have provided a high quality life not only for rural areas, but for our whole nation, for hundreds of years. If small farms perish, so will a quintessential aspect of American life."
Delgado represents the eighth most rural congressional district in the country. . . .