In Second Day of Visits, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Meets with Rep. Delgado’s Local Agriculture Committee

July 16, 2021
Press Release
Delgado Brings Washington to Upstate, Shares Local Agriculture Goals and Concerns Directly with USDA

COBLESKILL, NY – Today, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met with U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado’s (NY-19) bipartisan NY-19 Agriculture Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from all 11 counties in New York’s 19th Congressional District. During the meeting, upstate farmers spoke directly with Secretary Vilsack about rural infrastructure, bolstering local food systems, supporting new farmers, and the needs of small dairy farms, including additional processing capacity. Before meeting with Rep. Delgado’s NY-19 Agriculture Advisory Committee, Secretary Vilsack led a discussion focused on the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. Leaders from the New York Farm Bureau, United Farm Workers, Office of the New York Commissioner of Agriculture, New York State Vegetable Growers Association, Northeast Dairy Producers, SUNY Cobleskill, local farmers, and upstate farmworkers participated in the roundtable, along with Congressman Delgado.

“Today, Secretary Vilsack heard directly from upstate farmers about much-needed infrastructure investment, farmworker demand, rural development, and growing our dairy industry,” said Rep. Delgado. “I thank the Secretary, local leaders, and agriculture representatives for joining today's critical discussion and for their commitment to support important legislation and initiatives to help our upstate communities. Thank you, SUNY Cobleskill and President Terenzio, for hosting today’s meaningful conversation.”

“SUNY Cobleskill is thrilled to host Secretary Vilsack, Congressman Delgado and the members of the NY-19 Agriculture Advisory Committee to discuss the critical topics of rebuilding rural infrastructure, supporting new farmers, removing barriers to entry, and growing the dairy economy. SUNY Cobleskill remains at the forefront of these important discussions through our initiatives working with the regional and local community via The Institute for Rural Vitality and through our agricultural programming and education. Regional colleges are the anchor of economic development and we look forward to continue to support our community through our network of lifetime learners,” said Dr. Marion Terenzio, President, SUNY Cobleskill.

“At the Congressman's Agricultural Advisory Committee meeting, we discussed issues related to dairy farm success, helping new farmers, and rural infrastructure and I was so pleased at the level of understanding and support shown by our Congressman and the Secretary,” said Nan Stolzenburg, member of Rep. Delgado’s NY-19 Agriculture Advisory Committee.

We commend USDA and Rep. Delgado for supporting ag labor reform legislation and organizing this important discussion,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation in a statement before the event. “We need this conversation to turn into action in congressional corridors so that farmers and farmworkers can benefit from a workable labor system.”