(Left to right): Fruit farm operator Jim Bitner, vegetable and dairy farm operator Maureen Torrey Marshall, Sen. Ed Rath (R,C,I-Amherst), Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) and Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) discuss the impact of vaccine mandates on farms and
agriculture on Thursday, Jan. 28.


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."


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published this page in Blog 2022-02-01 14:21:24 -0500
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