U.S. Pat Ryan: ‘Put resources and power back where they belong - with our local farmers’

Chester. Ryan toured farms and agricultural packing centers across the district to hear feedback directly from constituents and then to announce priorities to deliver relief for Hudson Valley Farmers in 2023 Farm Bill.

| 17 Aug 2023 | 02:50

Following an agriculture listening tour last week and incorporating feedback from a constituent survey, U.S. Rep. Pat Ryan announced his priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill.

The Farm Bill is a legislative package passed by Congress every five years that invests in the health and development of rural communities, provides resources to ensure the sustainability and longevity of America’s agricultural industry and helps to reduce hunger among American families and seniors.

“About 9 in 10 farms in the district are family run – delivering relief for these smaller-scale and often specialty crop focused operations is absolutely my top priority for the 2023 Farm Bill,” Ryan said in the press release detailing the initiatives. “As I toured facilities across the Hudson Valley, I heard over and over again that these local needs have been ignored in previous Farm Bills in favor of handouts for big corporations. That ends now. By increasing funding for the Speciality Crop Block Grant Program and the Speciality Crop Research Initiative, we’re going to put resources and power back where they belong: with our local farmers.”


Ryan’s priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill include:

A constituent proposal to support farmers while supplying food banks; as well as

Increased funding for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) and the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI).

The SCBGP gives money to state Departments of Agriculture to enhance competitiveness of the crops that are so important to our region and increased SCRI funding would expand grants made to support research projects that address key challenges facing food production systems.

Reaction: Thanks for taking the time to listen

Rod Runnalls, the general manager at Minkus Family Farms in New Hampton, thanked Ryan “for taking the time to hear our concerns directly.”

“Specialty crops like the onions we grow at Minkus Farms are the pride of Orange County,” Runnalls added, “but often get overlooked when it comes to national legislation like the Farm Bill.”

Dylan Dembeck, director of operations at Minkus Family Farms, added: “Ryan understands the importance of protecting our country’s food supply and how crucial it is to keep US farms operating, especially after COVID. Federal support is needed to get through these challenges.

Gary Glowaczewski of R & G Produce, LLC, in Goshen, also thanked the congressman for “making the time to tour our farm.

“We were glad to be able to discuss with him the issues that farmers have here in Orange County ... (and to understand) the hardships that farmers incur to provide nutritious and fresh produce to New Yorkers.”

Likewise, Maria Caicedo, community relations and store manager at the Chester Agricultural Center, offered: “We left this visit feeling reassured that we can count on Ryan’s support to advance the center’s mission of contributing to an equitable and inclusive regional food system.”