U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado tours dairy as farmers seek additional COVID-19 support
ANCRAMDALE — Though already well aware of the challenges local farmers have endured in keeping their farms operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-NY-19) toured Ronnybrook Farms recently to gain a greater understanding of the support farmers across New York need to remain in business.
Aligning with June’s celebration of National Dairy Month, Delgado visited Ronnybrook’s dairy processing facility, located at 310 Prospect Hill Road in Ancramdale, on Monday, June 22. Following his arrival, the congressman struck up a conversation with farm founder Rick Osofsky, his nephew, Daniel, his son, Peter, and his daughter, Kate, to give the congressman an idea of how Ronnybrook has been working to stay in business during such uncertain times.
The Osofskys then led Delgado on a tour of the farm’s dairy processing plant, showing Delgado how the dairy’s popular products — ranging from milk and chocolate milk to yogurt and half and half to butter and ice cream — are produced.
Throughout the tour, Delgado and the Osofskys discussed the importance of supporting family farms as well as keeping local dairy in area schools. They also talked about the experiences some New York farmers have had with both the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Impact Disaster Loan Program, both of which were designed to provide small businesses economic support during the pandemic.
“Our family farmers are essential to our upstate way of life and they have experienced extreme challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Delgado said in the statement from his office about the tour. “As Congress negotiated the CARES Act, I worked to include direct disaster assistance for our small farmers, led the push to make farmers eligible for small business loans programs and have continued to meet with our agriculture operators to make sure they have the tools needed to get through this difficult time.”
The CARES Act, which stands for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, was drafted in March to provide relief for Americans dealing with economic hardship due to the coronavirus.
Looking ahead, Delgado said he’ll keep working for farmers like the Osofskys in Congress. The Osofskys, for their part, said they appreciate the efforts.
“We had a very good conversation; I’ve been a supporter of his efforts in terms of the dairy industry generally over the last two years that he’s served,” said Rick Osofsky. “We had a good dialogue on the state of affairs as it relates to dairy.”