More on Agriculture
August 4, 2016 Press Release
“While the national margin between milk prices and feed costs continues to shrink, dairy farmers in Connecticut—where energy and feed costs are typically greater—have been struggling with tight margins for the past year,” Courtney said. “The latest announcement on MPP payouts will certainly aid a number of struggling farms in Connecticut, but I am hopeful that this is only the first of several steps the USDA will take to turn the dairy industry around in the U.S.”
“I have witnessed firsthand the struggle that dairy farmers around the country face with decreasing milk prices,” said Representative Courtney. “As milk prices have steadily declined over the last half century, Connecticut has seen its dairy industry shrink from over 800 farms to about 150 today. Reopening or starting a new dairy farm is a herculean task, which is why when one closes, more often than not, no farm will replace it. The American dairy industry is an integral part of our agriculture economy and as we face yet another milk crisis, it is more important than ever for the Department of Agriculture to lend a hand to our dairy farmers before it’s too late.”
“We write to raise a growing concern of our constituents in the fishing industry who are facing extreme economic hardship related to the structure of fisheries management across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic,” the lawmakers wrote. “On several occasions during town halls and meetings in Connecticut with many of the fishermen who operate in the state, we have repeatedly heard concerns that black sea bass, summer flounder, and scup have migrated northward, but the state-by-state allocations for these species still reflect historical numbers when they were in greater abundance in the mid-Atlantic. These outdated allocations are disadvantaging fishermen in the Northeast."
"As Members of Congress from states with rich fishing heritage and storied maritime industries, we write today to voice our concerns about the current fishery management structure for the black sea bass, summer flounder, and scup fish stocks,” wrote the delegation members. “As fluctuations in ocean temperatures shift fish populations northward, New England fishermen are unfairly shortchanged when bountiful stocks managed by a Fishery Management Council outside of their region allocates local states low catch quotas."
May 18, 2016 Press Release
“I am deeply disappointed that the majority leadership of our committee has decided to squander this opportunity to pass bipartisan legislation on an issue I think we all can get behind like child nutrition, and that’s why I voted against moving this bill forward earlier today,” said Courtney. “Making sure children are provided with adequate, nutritious meals is just as important as providing them with good teachers, and with quality textbooks. We know that children, who cannot get enough to eat at home and in school, cannot succeed to their full potential."
April 12, 2016 Press Release
“We need to do everything we can to support our small farmers and local agriculture,” said Congressman Courtney. “It is unfair that dairy farmers across the Northeast, including in Connecticut, are forced to calculate their feed costs based on averages that are heavily weighted toward Midwest farming operations. The system established under the recent Farm Bill puts farming operations in our region at a competitive disadvantage, and our farmers have asked that we take action to level the playing field. I would like to thank Reps. Gibson and Welch for their support on this issue, and we intend to keep fighting until we get this change passed.”
March 10, 2016 Press Release
“I can sympathize with the frustration of maple farmers who are angry that large companies and corporations are getting away with blatantly misrepresenting their products as containing maple syrup when they do not,” said Courtney. “The process to produce authentic maple syrup is both time and labor intensive, as it actually involves concentrating the sap of maple trees to produce maple sugar. Genuine maple syrup has a high value because consumers are willing to seek out, and pay a premium for the natural product containing 100 percent tree sap. When a company sells an inferior product made of corn-syrup or artificial flavoring and calls it maple, they are actually stealing from the livelihoods of farmers who count on the income made from producing real maple syrup."
March 10, 2016 Press Release
“This was a great opportunity to speak directly with local selectmen, fire chiefs, nonprofits, and other community leaders from across the district about the benefits of working with the USDA-Rural Development program,” said Courtney. “All too often, rural communities do not have access to the credit necessary to begin long-term projects like bridges, schools, or municipal complexes, and these loans and grants provided through the USDA ensure eastern Connecticut towns do not get left behind. During the reauthorization of the Farm Bill in 2014, I worked hard to maintain rural development eligibility in Connecticut by ensuring the definition of rural included small communities in Eastern Connecticut. I want to thank all of our local leaders who came out to learn more about the grant program, and I look forward to working with them to obtain additional grant funding for our district this year.”
January 19, 2016 In The News
Dairy farmers have reason to be happy after a change in federal law that lets states issue weight exemptions for dairy trucks, allowing them to haul milk at full capacity.
January 14, 2016 Press Release
“I was very pleased that we were able to get this important change for our dairy farmers included in the federal transportation bill last month,” said Courtney. “In my role as the as a co-chair of the Congressional Dairy Caucus, I have advocated on the behalf of small and medium sized dairy farmers who expressed a need to change the law which prevented them from fully utilizing the container space in their milk trucks. Simply allowing our dairy farmers to fill their current milk hauling trucks to full capacity will save them both time and money, and prevent the need for additional trucks on our roadways. The new weight exemption will allow haulers to transport the same volume of fluid milk in four full milk trucks compared to the five partially filled milk trucks used to meet existing weight restrictions on Connecticut roads. I want to thank Congresswoman Esty for all of her work on the issue, and for offering the amendment in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee where it was included in the larger transportation bill.”