Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I,Ref-Schoharie) and Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) today welcomed U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to upstate New York. The legislators hosted him for a tour of Altobelli Family Farm in Valatie. Tague seized a unique opportunity to advocate for our local farmers with the highest ranking agriculture official in the nation.
“I’m honored to welcome Secretary Perdue. I’m so glad that he came here to listen intently to family farmers in our community. It’s not every day that a member of the president’s cabinet comes to a town like Valatie, and I’m grateful that the secretary is invested in promoting New York products and assisting the farm families who form the backbone of our great state,” said Tague.
Tague was emphatic in expressing to the secretary the importance of creating new markets and improving existing ones for dairy producers and ensuring that American agricultural policy is good for American farmers.
“I told Secretary Perdue that we shouldn’t be importing any milk from other countries if domestic farmers are facing low commodity prices,” said Tague. “America First” shouldn’t just be a foreign policy initiative, it should be how we treat our workers, and certainly our dairy farmers.”
Tague also advocated for federal dollars to ensure that local school districts can purchase nutritious whole milk from local producers. Tague also would like to see federal aid for prisons, colleges and other state-run entities who purchase whole milk.
The assemblyman also asked Perdue to encourage the FDA to crack down on companies who mislabel non-dairy products as milk.
“Where I’m from, milk comes from cows, not almonds,” said Tague.
Tague added that it was great to get to know the secretary and hopes he returns to New York soon.
“He was gracious, he listened, and he is incredibly sharp. I’m sure he’s a tremendous asset for the president, and I’m honored I was able to meet with him. I’m hopeful that he’s going to bring our concerns back to Washington and deliver real results,” said Tague.