We are proud of our agricultural heritage here in South Central PA. Our farmers are part of our community’s foundation – creating jobs, stewarding the land and water, and producing some of the best quality goods in the nation. If elected to Congress, I will pursue policies that:
Support our dairy farmers: We’ve seen our dairy farmers struggle more and more over the past decade. The vertical integration of the dairy sector, accelerated by companies like Walmart, have left local farmers without a robust market to sell their milk. As dairy supply chains become more and more consolidated, we need common sense antitrust enforcement to ensure local farmers have a place in regional markets. We also need to support farmers as they diversify into value-added dairy products and into other higher-value agricultural products while we maximize our location in the mid-Atlantic market, our agricultural infrastructure and the particularly unique Lancaster County food brand.
Streamline federal bureaucracies & support our farmer’s stewardship: Farmers know better than anyone the importance of clean water and good soil. Our farmers are the best stewards of our shared land and water, and our region’s agricultural tradition makes all of us stronger and healthier.
But too often, our farmers aren’t supported to do what they do best. Government bureaucracies that don’t work well together give farmers an unnecessary load of paperwork. We need to streamline agricultural regulation at the EPA, DEP, and the USDA so that consumers are protected while farmers can focus on producing the best quality goods. We also need to support federal regulators to better understand the unique needs of different agricultural operations, and ensure regulatory processes respect the traditions and practices of our farmers.
Support cover cropping and and no-till farming: We are proud our farmers in Pennsylvania lead the country in cover cropping and no-till farming. These practices are powerful tools to protect our water and help mitigate climate change. The federal government should incentivize and support cover cropping and no-till practices.
Preserve our farmland: Lancaster and York counties are leading agricultural producers in PA, and we can protect our region’s agricultural heritage by supporting the region’s Farmland Trust and Agricultural Land Preservation Programs.
Ensure a strong and fair Farm Bill: Our farmers and our communities deserve a strong and fair Farm Bill. That means protection for dairy farmers from low margins (whether caused by feed costs or low milk prices), support to transition into speciality crops, and access to food for families in need. We also need to invest in the next generation of farmers, and provide adequate support for young Americans interested in agricultural professions.