Mitrano Wants To Do More For Farmers


The Democratic challenger for the 23rd Congressional District wants to do more for area farmers.

During her conference call with regional media Tuesday, Tracy Mitrano, who is running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, said her opponent is not doing enough to help farmers in the district. She said there are several challenges facing the agriculture industry in the 23rd District.

“I’ve reached out to farmers. I’ve had several, several meetings with vegetable, fruit and dairy farmers,” she said. “In every county, I’ve visited someone.”

Mitrano said President Donald Trump’s administration is not addressing issues like immigration reform and over production, especially when it comes to milk. She also said there should be better programs in place to assist small farmers who want to transition out of farming.

“Small farmers are failing. We really should be helping these farmers if they want to transition out,” she said. “We don’t want them devastated by the market. We want to help them. They are good people who want and deserve our help.”

With the current farm bill under consideration, Mitrano said there are a number of inadequacies like with the money allocated to address broadband. She said the bill doesn’t contain the money necessary to provide greater broadband coverage.

“Far from the money needed,” she said. “We should not be fooled. (The farm bill) vastly under supports (the need to address) the utility of the internet.”

Mitrano said she does not believe Reed, Congress and Trump are addressing the concerns farmers have shared with her.

“I’m saying that our representative is not opening the conversation about what we can do better to address the market challenges for (farmers),” she said. “When people call (Reed’s) office, he simply says I support agriculture. What he means is he supports large corporate agriculture. He is not in support of small, family farmers in the district.”

An official from Reed’s campaign disagreed with Mitrano’s statement, citing a visit with the Chautauqua County Farm Bureau in late August and efforts to make changes to the Dairy Margin Protection Program.

“Tom has traveled the district visiting local farms and listening to the concerns of farmers in every corner of our district,” said Abbey Daugherty, communications director for Tom Reed for Congress. “So we know the issues they face firsthand and Tom brings those ideas and concerns back to Washington when he votes.”

During the call, Mitrano honored the memory of the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, and those who still live with the impact of that day. She also mentioned an editorial in Monday’s New York Times about an Army veteran who served in the Middle East following 9/11 who called for the end to the 17-year war in Afghanistan.