Jacobs, Hawley and Rath hear from farmers about supply chain issues, labor shortages

Posted 28 January 2022 at 10:20 am

Provided photo: Pictured from left, fruit farm operator Jim Bittner, 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.

Press Release, Congress Chris Jacobs

GENESEE COUNTY – Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27), State Senator Ed Rath (R-Amherst), and State Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) met with local farmers and agricultural leaders on Thursday 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.”

Jacobs is a member of the House Agriculture Committee. In December, he 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.

“Our New York farmers have been taking hit after hit,” Rath said. “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.”

“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.”