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Maloney Leads Bipartisan Members of New York Congressional Delegation in Calling for Pandemic Assistance for Cooperative Extension

Jul 28, 2020
Press Release

Maloney Leads Bipartisan Members of New York Congressional Delegation in Calling for Pandemic Assistance for Cooperative Extension

Washington, D.C. – Last week, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) led a bipartisan letter to House and Senate leadership requesting the next COVID-19 financial assistance package include dedicated funding for Cooperative Extension in the states most impacted by the pandemic. The Cooperative Extension System has been severely impacted by the pandemic, and will be unable to retain critically important employees who perform vital services to communities, consumers, farmers and farmworkers.

“Cooperative Extension in New York has been a lifeline for our farmers and farmworkers during the pandemic, but they’re struggling to get by as counties and local governments are forced to make steep cuts to their budgets. I brought together a bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress from New York to make it clear to our leadership that the next pandemic economic relief package must support this critical service, and in-turn support our farmers,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.

Cooperative Extension has helped New York’s farmworkers, farm families and food businesses by providing information, materials and best practices to prevent further COVID-19 outbreaks. This effort includes COVID-19 educational programming in English and Spanish. In addition, Cooperative Extension has played a vital role in distribution of face coverings and sanitizer to farms and are working with food banks and farmers on food distribution efforts for food insecure individuals and families.

The Cooperative Extension regional agriculture team system in New York is now at risk because of the dire state of county finances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter was signed by Reps. Maloney (NY-18), Brindisi (NY-22), Velázquez (NY-7), Delgado (NY-19), Stefanik (NY-21), Katko (NY-24), Suozzi (NY-3), Espaillat (NY-13), Tonko (NY-20), and Reed (NY-23).

Read the letter here, and below:

 

July 24, 2020

 

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                                  The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Speaker                                                                                   Majority Leader
United States House of Representatives                                 United States Senate
Washington, DC 20515                                                          Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy                                            The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
Republican Leader                                                                  Minority Leader
United States House of Representatives                                 United States Senate
Washington, DC 20515                                                          Washington, DC 20510

Dear Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy:

We write to request your support on a matter of great importance to our constituents and to New York State agriculture.  As you know, agriculture is a critically important part of the economy and social fabric in many of our Congressional districts.

Specifically, we seek the inclusion of a provision in the next financial assistance legislation for Cooperative Extension in the states most impacted by COVID-19. Absent targeted federal relief to make up for losses in county funding, our Cooperative Extension System will be unable to retain critically important employees who perform vital services to communities, consumers, farmers and farmworkers. Recently 22 New York farm organizations, representing all sectors of New York agriculture wrote to me to highlight this critical issue.

Cooperative Extension has been the focal point in New York for helping farmworkers, farm families and food businesses with information, materials and best practices to prevent further COVID-19 outbreaks. This effort includes COVID-19 educational programming in English and Spanish. In addition, Cooperative Extension has played a vital role in distribution of face coverings and sanitizer to farms and are working with food banks and farmers on food distribution efforts for food insecure individuals and families.

The Cooperative Extension regional agriculture team system in New York is now at risk because of the dire state of county finances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These Cooperative Extension teams are highly trained with specialized knowledge to ensure farm and food processing industries keep pace with the cutting edge innovation, regulatory requirements and consumer demand.

We strongly encourage that language be incorporated into the COVID-19 federal assistance legislation that will provide assistance to Cooperative Extension in New York (and other states with high levels of COVID-19 infections) to offset lost revenue and the costs of delivering technical expertise, information, training, and services during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Sean Patrick Maloney                                                                         Anthony Brindisi
Member of Congress                                                                          Member of Congress

Nydia M. Velázquez                                                                           Antonio Delgado
Member of Congress                                                                          Member of Congress

Elise M. Stefanik                                                                                John Katko
Member of Congress                                                                          Member of Congress

Thomas Suozzi                                                                                   Adriano Espaillat
Member of Congress                                                                          Member of Congress

Paul D. Tonko                                                                                     Tom Reed
Member of Congress                                                                          Member of Congress