Informal meeting is start of ongoing dialogue on agriculture issues
On his first full week on the job, Congressman Chris Collins, NY-27, met with approximately 40 local farmers Monday afternoon to talk about what they want to see as part of a new farm bill. Congress is set to debate a new five-year farm bill over the coming months. As a member of the agriculture committee, Collins has made it a top priority to work with his colleagues to pass a new farm bill as soon as possible. The current farm bill legislation expired and Congress passed a short-term extension at the end of 2012.
"America's farmers need their federal government to act and pass a comprehensive, long-term farm bill," Collins said. "Congress must come together to give our agricultural community the support and long-term stability it needs."
Held in Batavia, the meeting's participants included dairy and crop farmers from the various counties that make up New York's 27th Congressional District. Dean Norton, president of the New York Farm Bureau, also participated. The informal meeting gave Collins an opportunity to hear directly from local farmers in advance of his first agriculture committee meeting in Washington. In the near future, Collins' office will establish a formal agriculture advisory committee.
A new farm bill would establish farm commodity, conservation, trade and nutritional programs for the next five-year period.
"Hardworking farmers cannot be left in limbo while Washington partisans remain deadlocked on the major issues of the day," Collins said. "A new farm bill is too important to agricultural interest not only in our own community, but all across this country. We all rely on the hard work of America's farmers and now the federal government needs to do its job."