Reps. Huffman, Pingree, Sen. Baldwin Request Immediate Support For Farmers in Wake of Agriculture Crisis
Today, U.S. Representatives Jared Huffman (CA-02) and Chellie Pingree (ME-01) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) led 25 of their colleagues in a bipartisan letter asking U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack for immediate assistance for organic dairy and poultry farmers who face simultaneous crises threatening their farms.
“We are writing on behalf of the U.S. organic dairy and poultry sectors, made up of thousands of family farmers and the businesses that support them, to request emergency relief in response to skyrocketing feed costs that are impacting the future viability of the industry. The situation is dire and requires your immediate attention. We urgently ask that you work closely with Congress and stakeholders to develop a solution that quickly gets assistance to producers to prevent further losses. Without rapid action, families are on track to lose their farms,” the members said in the letter.
International trade challenges specific to the organic agriculture sector, persistent drought, and the lack of a stable domestic supply of certified organic feed have created a dire economic situation for organic livestock farmers across the U.S. over the last two years.
Year-over-year price spikes in the cost of feedstuffs are now creating unsustainable circumstances that could lead to further farm closures, reduced competition and ultimately, limited consumer choice. If not addressed, these closures will have devastating impacts on the burgeoning organic dairy and poultry sectors and diminish the role of organics in the marketplace for years to come. Many organic businesses have already lost entire farms and without action this trend will continue.
The letter was cosigned by Representatives Jared Huffman (CA-02), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Jim McGovern (MA-02), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Mike Thompson (CA-05), Peter Welch (VT-At Large), Annie Kuster (NH-02), Angie Craig (MN-02), Kim Schrier (WA-08), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), and Ron Kind (WI-03) and Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Angus King (I-Maine), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Alex Padilla (D-CA).
The full letter can be viewed here.