Uplifting Connecticut’s Agricultural Industry
I advocated for proposals to support Connecticut’s agriculture industry and to help ensure their continued success through the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, I:
- Worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and local stakeholders to get more dairy farmers enrolled in Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC).
- Supported the opening of additional international markets to more American dairy products as part of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
- Cosponsored legislation to expand the existing USDA Milk Donation program to help get milk into the hands of the food insecure in the wake of COVID-19. The legislation authorizes USDA to act as a matchmaker between dairy producers with excess supply of milk and food banks that can distribute that milk to those in need. It also authorizes an additional $4 million a year for this important program.
- Advocated for specialty crops to help ensure farmers get the resources and assistance they need during the COVID-19 pandemic and to make sure farmers who have lost direct markets and income receive their fair share of any relief provided by USDA.
- Requested that USDA make more relief available for farmers by lifting the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) payment cap.
- Led a Connecticut delegation letter to the United States Department of Agriculture condemning unexpected changes to the Farmers to Families Food Box Program (FFFBP) which clearly overburdened small Connecticut farmers who diligently worked to serve our community at this time of dire need.
- Introduced H.R. 8042, the Helping America’s Farmers Act, which would create a new economic injury disaster loan program for farmers to assist them in weathering the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.
I will continue to advocate for policies that support farmers and give more of my constituents access to fresh, quality products.