Rep. Tom Reed and Agriculture Advisory Board Meet to Discuss Farm Bill, Immigration Reform
Rep. Tom Reed met Tuesday with a dozen members from his Agriculture Advisory Board in Canandaigua at Tamberlane Farms, including owner Dr. Jake Martin. Among a host of issues discussed, priorities for the 2013 Farm Bill and immigration reform were the two most pressing topics of conversation.
“Without a doubt, our farmers are very much in tune with what is going on at the federal level that will have an impact on their operations,” Reed said. “These farmers bring a wide variety of agricultural expertise and perspectives to the table with the shared goal of making sure our farmers have the freedom to farm, and are given a fair chance to do so. Securing a long-term Farm Bill and making sure immigration reform helps our farms produce more efficiently are two significant pieces of that puzzle to better care for our farmers and the local economies they contribute to.”
The House Agriculture Committee marked up the Farm Bill earlier this month and the House is scheduled to take up the bill this summer after what Reed predicted would be a lengthy amendment process as the bill moves through the House. The bill, a five-year reauthorization of farm programs, contains nearly $40 billion in savings.
"We support a long-term, five-year reauthorization of the Farm Bill." Reed further stated, "I was pleased to see the Specialty Crop Research Initiative and crop insurance both addressed in the current legislation to add protection and security for our farmers. After listening to our farmers today about their concerns and support for these proposals, I will make sure those voices are heard as we achieve a long-term solution for American farmers.”
Last month, Reed visited a Schuyler County farm to discuss the reintroduction of his Family Farm Relief Act to include reforms to the broken H-2A program and how the program can be transformed to better support New York’s agriculture industry. That conversation continued at Tamberlane Farms today with the Agriculture Advisory Board: “There is a shared realization of the problems with the current H-2A program and the benefits of providing a stable, legal workforce for our farmers,” Reed continued. “We’re hearing concerns about the ability to maintain workers as farmers prepare for busy harvest seasons and it is clear we are on the same page to get a stable workforce secured.”
“Over the past year, we have spent time visiting with farmers across the district at their operations. Today was another opportunity to get different stakeholders in the same room to bounce ideas and priorities off one another ahead of debate and votes on the Farm Bill and immigration reform in Washington.”