Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19)
HUDSON, NY—Today, Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) announced $7,164,124 in funding for the National Young Farmers Coalition based in Hudson, New York from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This federal award will be used to build upon the Farm Ranch Stress Assistance Network in the Northeast Region (FRSAN-NE). The FRSAN program, reauthorized in the 2018 Farm Bill, seeks to assist farmers, ranchers, and other agriculture-related workers in times of stress and help improve their behavioral health awareness, literacy, and outcomes. During the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 appropriations process, Rep. Delgado led a bipartisan letter urging the FRSAN program be funded at designated levels of $10 million.
“Our farmers were facing a challenging farm economy prior to the pandemic, and COVID-19 has created additional hardships for agriculture producers across upstate NY. We must provide resources to support family farms at every level, including tools to help alleviate the stresses that accompany the farming profession,” said Representative Delgado, member of the House Committee on Agriculture. “I am proud to announce this grant for the National Young Farmers Coalition in Hudson, which will help expand the Farm Ranch Stress Assistance Network and support the mental health and well-being of our farmers and their families. I will continue to work closely with the Young Farmers Coalition and keep fighting for critical FRSAN funding in future fiscal years.”
“When we invest in the health and wellbeing of our farming communities, we invest in our resilience,” said Martin Lemos, Co-Executive Director of the National Young Farmers Coalition. “Every season reinforces the essential work of our farming communities and 2020 is making clear the need for greater investment in public health and a systems approach to addressing the challenges facing producers in the U.S. Managing through pandemics, working through the climate crisis, and enduring systemic racism forces a heavy burden on our farming communities, and we need new collaborative models to not only provide relief and support, but to re-orient our farming systems toward community wellbeing. We look forward to FRSAN-NE being a unifying resource to support our farmers and farm workers and to help them thrive.”
FRSAN, reauthorized and funded for the first time in the 2018 Farm Bill, was created to establish a network that assists farmers, ranchers, and other agriculture-related workers in times of stress and offer a conduit to improving behavioral health awareness in the farming community. Rep. Delgado announced $480,000 for the Young Farmers Coalition to develop this program in 2019.
As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Delgado has worked to support and amplify the voices of family farmers across upstate. August 2020 marked the one year anniversary of President Trump signing Rep. Delgado’s bipartisan Family Farmer Relief Act into law. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rep. Delgado successfully led a bipartisan effort to make farmers eligible for Small Business Administration loans and grants under the CARES Act and secured $9 billion to support local food systems and the creation of USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. In August, Rep. Delgado introduced the Helping America’s Farmers Act, which would create a new Agriculture Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (AEIDL) run by USDA to give farmers access to capital with flexible and favorable loan terms that fit their businesses.