Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19)
NEW PALTZ, NY—On Monday evening, Rep. Antonio Delgado (NY-19) visited a diversified farm in New Paltz, New York to discuss the challenges faced by young farmers across Upstate New York. Rep. Delgado joined the farm’s owners, Becky and Joe Fullam, for the tour and spoke with young farmers in Ulster County about their experiences. During the tour, Rep. Delgado discussed legislation he helped introduce to give young farmers relief from student loans as well as House and Senate passage of his Family Farmer Relief Act.
Following the tour and discussion, Congressman Delgado said, “young farmers are crucial to the development of the Upstate economy and I am so glad to have the opportunity to hear from more farmers getting their start in dairy, meat and vegetable farming.” Rep. Delgado continued, “I appreciate Becky and Joe taking time to show me around their Old Ford Farm and for our discussion about the challenges young farmers face when acquiring land and starting a new business. These conversations continue to inform my work on the Agriculture Committee when advocating for new farmers in across Upstate New York.”
“Despite insecure land tenure, Young farmers Becky and Joe of Old Ford Farm have shown ingenuity and passion in building a diversified farm business that provides healthy food for the New Paltz community. We look forward to working with Congressman Delgado to ensure young farmers like Becky and Joe can access permanent, affordable farmland to grow their businesses and provide this essential public service,” said Sophie Ackoff, Vice President of Policy and Campaigns, National Young Farmers Coalition.
The House and Senate recently passed Representative Antonio Delgado’s (NY-19) bipartisan legislation, H.R. 2336, the Family Farmer Relief Act, which would ease the process of reorganizing debt through Chapter 12 bankruptcy rules. Chapter 12 was specifically designed to help keep family farms afloat during downturns in the farm economy, but today’s outdated eligibility thresholds make this an inaccessible tool to most family farms today. Rep. Delgado previously testified before the House Judiciary Committee on this bipartisan legislation, and applauded its bipartisan passage through the Committee. In addition, in June, Rep. Antonio Delgado (NY-19) and House colleagues introduced the Young Farmer Success Act, a bipartisan bill to preserve America’s agricultural economy and the security of its national food supply by adding full-time farmers and ranchers to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program which was introduced with the support of the Young Farmers Coalition, based in Hudson, New York.
As a member of the Agriculture, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Small Business Committees, Delgado has prioritized bringing the voices of small farmers to Washington. The 19th Congressional District is the eighth most rural district in the country and the third most rural district represented by a Democrat. There are nearly 5,000 farms and over 8,000 farm operators in the district. Throughout Delgado’s first eight months in office, he has created a 19th Congressional District Agriculture Advisory Committee, toured 22 farms, and sat down with local farmers to hear about infrastructure and technology needs, and sustainable farming practices.