Christopher Tague (R,C,ISchoharie) has been in contact with President Donald Trump, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, NYS Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball, and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue to highlight the unique threat that COVID-19 poses to agriculture throughout the country, notably the already vulnerable dairy industry. Tague is worried the disruptions to the food service industry due to the implementation of stop-the-spread measures, including reductions in restaurants operating hours or even full closures, has led to a significant decrease in sales, drastically reducing the demand for milk and dairy products.
Simply put, processing plants are being forced to turn away farmers and their highly perishable milk supply because there are such limited options for selling their finished products right now. In turn, farmers are left with an excessive amount of milk with no choice but to unload the worthless product for a loss.
During this unprecedented time, the central pillar of our economy and our society is farming, and it is under grave threat from the COVID-19 outbreak. It demands our assistance, Tague said in a letter to the White House. Ive called on our federal and state leadership to ensure that our dairy and produce farms are protected. They are the very first step in the chain that leads to your local grocery stores. In the interest of maintaining some sense of normalcy, these farms must be protected.
To combat this unprecedented attack on our farms, Tague is calling on all branches of government to pass the No Farms No Food Act of 2020, a stimulus package specially targeted for agriculture to reimburse our farmers at current market price for any lost product related to the COVID-19 crisis. It is anticipated that market disruptions will eventually yield similar results for all types of agriculture and, therefore, any program should offer this incentive to all effected producers and processors.
To view the letter, please click here.