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Courtney, Welch Lead New England Delegation Letter in Defense of Family Dairy Farms

October 24, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) and Congressman Peter Welch (VT-AL), co-chairs of the Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus, led a delegation consisting of all 21 Members of Congress from New England in writing to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, pushing back on comments he made earlier this month at the World Dairy Expo about the future of small dairy farms. In their letter, the members highlighted the importance of family dairy farming to the history, culture, and economy of New England. The members offered an open invitation for Secretary Perdue to visit New England to learn more about the dairy industry in the region.

“The volatility of the dairy market over the past decade has made us keenly aware of the importance for stability among New England dairies. From Farm Service Agency supports to the Rural Energy for America Program, the federal government has played a key role in helping our farms become more fiscally and environmentally efficient,” the delegation wrote. “However, what our farmers see in action from the USDA is not reflected in your sentiments about the future of small family dairy farming.”

Joining Courtney and Welch in sending the letter were Representatives John Larson (CT-01), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Jim Himes (CT-04), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Richard Neal (MA-01), Jim McGovern (MA-02), Lori Trahan (MA-03), Joseph Kennedy (MA-04), Katherine Clark (MA-05), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Stephen Lynch (MA-08), Bill Keating (MA-09), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Jared Golden (ME-02), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Ann Kuster (NH-02), David Cicilline (RI-01), and Jim Langevin (RI-02).

The members’ full letter to Secretary is available online.