Congressman Anthony Brindisi talks to Little Falls dairy farmers about initiatives that he is working on that should help alleviate some of the problems that they are dealing with.
by Dave Warner
U. S. Congressman Anthony Brindisi, 22nd District of New York, visited the Casler Farms on Tuesday afternoon to talk to dairy farmers about the issues they are facing in today’s competitive environment and the Dairy Margin Coverage Program in particular.
Daniel Casler, a 10th generation farmer said “We’re trying to get more information on agriculture in general and he (Brindisi) kinda got his feet wet even before he ran from listening sessions. I thought that was kind of unusual because politicians think they know everything before they get started.”
Casler said “It’s a challenge every day whether you’re farming conventional or farming organically. It’s a challenge…it’s a battle. Hopefully, the program that we’re talking about here can take some of the bumps out of the road. I don’t look at it as a long term strategy, but a tool that we have available.”
He encouraged farmers that were not signed up for the Dairy Margin Coverage Program, to do so.
Casler went on to introduce Brindisi to the assembled farmers and media. Brindisi said, “I know it’s hard when you have a lot of visitors coming to your farm, but I appreciate that and thank you so much for your kind words.”
He went on to say that he serves on the agriculture committee and that it was one of the things that he had wanted when going to the House. “It’s where I think I can do the most good for this region. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a representative from this region that’s served on the agriculture committee.”
“It seems to me that when times are tough, it’s always those smaller farms that are struggling the most and I want to be able to use my position on the agriculture committee to be a voice for farmers here in Upstate New York and put forward policies that are going to help producers in this region,” said Brindisi.
Brindisi said that he is focused on giving farmers the resources that they need to be successful, but that it is tough. “I do farm tours all the time, and the pressures that are being put on all producers right now are immense. Whether it’s immigration issues or the impact tariffs have had or trade policy, it’s a challenge right now for farmers.”
He also feels that the new agreement between Mexico, Canada, and the United States, called the USMCA is something that will help open up new markets for farmers as well. “It’s something that I’ve been very vocal in support of. Is it the savior of everything? Absolutely not. Mexico and Canada are two of our most important trading partners and we want to make sure that we have a solid trade deal in place.”
Brindisi said “Given the opportunity, the farmers in this country can feed us and the world if we give them a level playing field and the resources that they need and get out of their way. That’s the most important thing.”