American Farm Bureau Honors Rep. Delgado with Prestigious Ag Award
On Wednesday, Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-N.Y., was honored by the American Farm Bureau Federation with their prestigious “Friend of Farm Bureau” award, an honor bestowed on lawmakers in recognition of their agricultural efforts for their farming communities. To receive the award, lawmakers need to have a proven agricultural track record and they need to be nominated by their state Farm Bureau.
“Family farming is a time-honored tradition in upstate New York and I have worked every single day in Congress to listen to the needs of our local producers and advocate on their behalf,” said Delgado in a statement.
He continued, “From meeting with my Agriculture Advisory Committee, to touring farms throughout our district, or introducing bipartisan farm-focused legislation, it is a privilege to champion the priorities of local producers and work to ensure agriculture policies reflect the unique needs of small and family farms. I’m honored to receive this award from the American Farm Bureau and am thankful to the New York Farm Bureau for its nomination.
“There is much more work to do, and I will continue to support policies that enable our unique upstate agricultural economy to thrive,” Delgado concluded.
As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, Delgado’s position allowed him to advocate for the needs of upstate New York farmers.
Last year, Delgado spearheaded the bipartisan supported Family Farmer Relief Act, which was signed into law by President Trump on August 23, 2019.
The legislation eased the process for farmers to reorganize their debt through Chapter 12 bankruptcy rules, a tool created specifically to help family farmers during tough economic times. Delgado’s bill expanded the debt cap covered under Chapter 12 from $3.2 million to $10 million.
The debt cap expansion was designed to reflect not only the increase of land values, but also the gradual growth of U.S farming operations. The debt cap also allows farmers to keep their business running in economic downturns.
Earlier this year, Delgado led a successful bipartisan effort to guarantee farmers could be eligible in Small Business Administration loans and grants under the CARES Act.
With Delgado’s advocacy and with funding from the CARES Act, the USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program was created to aid farmers facing economic hardship and disruption to their markets. As a result, $16 billion was set aside for farmers in upstate New York and across the country.
In August, Delgado introduced the Helping America’s Farmers Act, legislation that will create a new loan program under the USDA to give farmers access to the capital they need with terms and requirements that fit their businesses.
Speaking on his latest agricultural legislation, Rep. Delgado said in a public statement, “Our family farmers across upstate [New York] were already facing a difficult farm economy that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, federal programs targeting small businesses and farm operations have fallen far short of meeting the dire needs of our family farmers.
“That’s why I am proud to introduce this bill that will finally deliver the support farmers need to overcome this pandemic – a program that provides immediate relief paired with low- or no-interest loans with flexible terms for repayment or forgiveness.
“The Helping America’s Farmers Act would finally ensure our farmers are able to access funding and support tailored to their specific needs,” concluded Delgado.