Delivering for Farmers and Agricultural Communities

I am proud to represent a community that is more than 50% rural, with thousands of small family farms that feed our nation and put food on our shelves. Too often, however, our small farming communities are left behind by a broken Washington that puts politics over solutions. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I am working with members of both parties to support our farmers and producers. I am proud to work with my Upstate Agriculture Advisory Committee to focus on the issues that matter to New York farmers.

One of the first bills I introduced in Congress was bipartisan legislation to make it easier for farmers to hire the workers they need to keep their doors open. For too long, the broken politics of Washington have made it harder for farmers to hire workers and grow their business. I’m proud to say that in 2019, the House of Representatives passed my bill as part of a once in a generation compromise on immigration reform. This legislation gives more certainty to our farmers, and strengthens the E-Verify system to make sure that workers are here legally. When both parties come together, we can get real results for our communities.

Over the last few months, we have also worked to support our dairy men and women by cracking down on the false labeling of plant-based beverages as milk. To make sure that kids have the healthy nutrients they need to grow, we are supporting bipartisan legislation to get more whole milk in schools, and push back on proposals from New York City to ban chocolate milk.

We are also working to expand access to health care in rural New York. Tragically, the rate of suicide in rural parts of our country is 45% higher than in urban areas. That is unacceptable, and we need to provide more support and outreach in small towns and communities. That’s why I introduced legislation to expand mental health care outreach in farming communities.