Rep. Antonio Delgado Holds First Meeting of 19th Congressional District Agriculture Advisory Committee

March 20, 2019
Press Release
First committee meeting focused on ways to empower small farms through investing in infrastructure

HUDSON, NY – U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) held the first meeting of his newly-established 19th Congressional District Agriculture Advisory Committee. The committee is made up of a diverse group of family farmers, agriculture professors and experts, representatives of local agriculture nonprofits, sustainable farming advocates, and representatives from county Farm Bureaus. The committee includes members from all 11 counties that make up the 19th Congressional District.

“I see my role in Washington as a champion for our small, family-owned farms,” Delgado said. “At a time when concentrated wealth and a more globalized market can squeeze the life out of our local farmers, I want to hear directly from members of the farming community about ways to empower their livelihood.”

The first meeting of the committee focused on localized infrastructure and what can be done to better tap into unmet demand. “Not only am I a member of the Agriculture Committee, but also the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. And as we’re looking at an infrastructure bill coming up, I want to ensure I can advocate for what would be most helpful for our farms,” Delgado said.

One of the key topics of the meeting was the success of local farm hubs throughout the district, which help to connect the dots between producers and consumers. Delgado heard from participants about ways to highlight their success in order to gain more support and resources for hubs to expand and for farms to be more self-sustaining.

Participants also raised the need to remove barriers that make it difficult for local farmers to sell to local institutions like public schools and hospitals, and discussed how federal grants and incentives could be better devised to support rural farmers’ needs.

As a member of the Agriculture, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Small Business Committees, Delgado has prioritized bringing the voices of small farmers to Washington. The 19th Congressional District is the eighth most rural district in the country and the third most rural district represented by a Democrat. There are over 5,000 farms and over 8,000 farm operations in the district. During Delgado's first in-district work period, he toured farms and sat down with local farmers to hear about localized infrastructure, technology needs, and sustainable farming practices.