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January 28, 2022 - 4:04pm

Hawley joins agriculture discussion with farmers and Rep. Jacobs

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Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia), a member of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture joined Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) and Sen. Ed Rath (R,C,I-Amherst) for a meeting he organized with local farmers Thursday to discuss the federal vaccine mandate and its impact on the well-being of their businesses. 

During the meeting, farmers expressed concerns that the vaccine mandate is negatively affecting the supply chains farmers depend on, as well as their ability to hire and retain laborers. This concern has arisen after a new mandate was hastily issued by the Department of Homeland Security requiring essential workers who are not U.S. citizens, including farm laborers, to be vaccinated before entering the country.

“Farming is the backbone of all economic activity in our nation, providing the food and materials necessary for other industries to operate effectively,” said Hawley. “Vaccine mandates have only served to worsen conditions experienced by Americans during the pandemic, and this new mandate pertaining to essential farm laborers is no different. By slowing our supply chain and keeping much-needed farmhands out of our fields, this mandate will strain both our rural economies in upstate New York and slow the restocking of vital goods in grocery stores across the state. I stand opposed to this mandate, and any others like it that may be implemented at the state or federal level.”

“Representing our farmers on the House Agriculture Committee is a job I take very seriously, and right now their livelihoods are at stake as a direct result of President Biden’s vaccine mandates,” said Jacobs. “Farming is a year-round industry that has no room for delays or logistical blockades, yet that is exactly what the president has created. His mandate that just recently went into effect is causing trucking delays, which seriously impacts our farmers and hurts our ag-focused economy in New York’s 27th District. I have fought against these mandates, and I will continue to do so to ensure our supply chains remain intact and our farmers are supported.”

“Our New York farmers have been taking hit after hit,” said Rath. “Many are already struggling with staffing shortages and supply chain issues, at no fault of their own. Jeopardizing their available workforce is irresponsible and inconsiderate of the overwhelming pressures that farmers are facing.  I have advocated for simplifying the countless mandates to help our farms and businesses. I will continue to fight for our agriculture community."

Press release from Rep. Chris Jacobs:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27), NYS Senator Ed Rath (R,C,I - Amherst), and NYS Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I – Batavia) met with local farmers and agricultural leaders yesterday to discuss the impact of President Biden’s vaccine mandate at the Northern border, and the current supply chain issues and labor shortages facing the agricultural industry.

“Representing our farmers on the House Agriculture Committee is a job I take very seriously, and right now their livelihoods are at stake as a direct result of President Biden’s vaccine mandates,” Jacobs said. “Farming is a round the clock industry that has no room for delays or logistical blockades, yet that is exactly what the President has created. His mandate that just recently went into effect is causing trucking delays, which seriously impacts our farmers and hurts our ag-focused economy in New York’s 27th District. I have fought against these mandates, and I will continue to do so to ensure our supply chains remain intact and our farmers are supported.”

"Our New York farmers have been taking hit after hit. Many are already struggling with staffing shortages and supply chain issues, at no fault of their own. Jeopardizing their available workforce is irresponsible and inconsiderate of the overwhelming pressures that farmers are facing. I have advocated for simplifying the countless mandates to help our farms and businesses. I will continue to fight for our agriculture community," Rath said.

​“Vaccine mandates issued at any level of government only serve to cripple our response to the very pandemic such mandates seek to improve,” Hawley said. “For farmers in particular, disruptions in the supply chain could mean the loss of crop yields, the death of livestock animals and critical equipment remaining in a state of disrepair for long periods of time when out of order. When the operations of our farms slow down, the economies of our rural communities slow as well. And across our nation, the restocking of grocery store shelves will continue to be a spotty process. Mandates that stifle the efficacy of our supply chain will only prolong the suffering brought about by this pandemic, and I remain committed to combating their implementation in any broad capacity,”

Jacobs is a member of the House Agriculture Committee. In December, Jacobs sent a letter with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik to President Biden warning of the disruption his vaccine mandate at the border would cause in the supply chain. The President ignored this warning. You can read the letter here.

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