This Week in Washington
The Success for Rural Students and Communities Act authorizes $60 million in grants each year through fiscal year 2027 for rural communities across the country to spur innovation and investment, improve access to higher education for rural students, and prepare them to receive the credentials necessary to step into high-demand jobs in their communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the need to close the degree attainment gap between students from rural communities and their peers. The Success for Rural Students and Communities Act will bring local school districts together with institutions of higher education and economic organizations to ensure our North Country students have greater opportunity to enroll in college, receive their degree, and then contribute to our local economies by thriving in high-demand jobs. Read more here.
On Wednesday, I announced the St. Lawrence County Community Development Program will receive a $1,782,879 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services for their Head Start Projects to improve the education and development of low-income children. Due to COVID-19, community based programs like Head Start are more critical than ever!
On Wednesday, I led thirteen House and four Senate colleagues in requesting the USDA provide answers to onion growers in our district about their decision to stop certain inspection requirements. I will not sit back and allow our farmers to be treated unfairly at the regulatory level. The USDA’s abrupt decision to suspend import inspections without prior notice or input from farmers put our North Country onion growers in direct competition with sub-standard foreign products during an already incredibly difficult year. I call on USDA to provide rationale for this decision and provide answers to our farmers, who deserve access to fair and open markets in the United States.
District Meetings and Events
On Tuesday, the New York Farm Bureau presented me with the American Farm Bureau Circle of Friends Award. This award is given to select lawmakers who have strong voting records in support of New York agriculture. I also received the American Farm Bureau Federation’s “Friend of Farm Bureau” award in October of 2020. It is an honor to be recognized by the New York Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau for my dedication to North Country farmers. I am proud to advocate on behalf of the farmers who work tirelessly to provide for our rural communities, and I extend my gratitude to them on this National Agriculture Day for their important work. I will continue to be a leading voice on important trade, labor, and government regulation issues that impact our farms and agribusinesses.
Met With NY-21 Food Service Directors
On Friday, I met with Food Services Directors from Schuylerville, Watertown, and St. Lawrence-Lewis School Districts to discuss the issues facing school food service programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, I cosponsored the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act, GIVE Milk Act, and advocated for the Farmers to Families Food Box Program to address food insecurity, especially in our rural communities.
In The News!
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