Congressman Chris Jacobs held the first official meeting of his agriculture advisory committee on Saturday.
"In order for me to craft effective policy and ensure the long-term prosperity of our region's farmers and agribusinesses, it is critical to make sure they have a seat at the table," he said. "We had a productive introductory meeting and discussed many of the pressing issues facing Western New York agriculture. I look forward to continuing our work together."
Jim Bittner, of Bittner Singer Orchards, said, “As a farmer in Western New York, I am honored to be part of Congressman Jacobs' agriculture advisory committee. His willingness to serve on the House Agriculture Committee demonstrates his commitment to Western New York and the businesses that are its economic engine. Most recently, he supported the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which will benefit every employee on my farm and those around us. Congressman Jacobs has also introduced a bill to allow dairy farms to participate in the H-2A visa program. This will have long-term benefits, which will preserve our industry. As discussions continue, I appreciate his willingness to learn what is important to those who feed our citizens and how to support it through legislation.”
Niagara County Farm Bureau President John King said, “The agriculture advisory committee is very promising, with participants from every aspect of the ag industry represented across NY-27. Congressman Jacobs will have a wealth of knowledge to pull from and very active members of the farming community to look to as a resource. I look forward to providing the congressman with updates and concerns that NY-27 farmer members have. I think committee’s like this are critical in regard to connecting our needs with Congress to ensure our family farms are represented appropriately going forward.”
The meeting was held virtually and members discussed a wide range of topics and issues facing Western New York agriculture, including dairy and farm labor needs, trade enforcement, infrastructure, rural broadband development and vaccine eligibility for farm workforces. Each member also provided a brief overview of their business and the commodities they represent.
The committee is comprised of members from across the eight counties of the New York 27th District and includes stakeholders affiliated with farms, agribusiness, academia and advocacy organizations. Its members produce a variety of commodities, including dairy, cash crops, vegetables, fruits, maple and poultry.