Josh Harder Stands With Central Valley Farmers, Votes To Re-Open The Department Of Agriculture

January 10, 2019
Press Release

Washington DC—Today, California Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) took a firm stand with farmers in the Central Valley by voting in favor of re-opening and funding the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is a vital step in finally ending the pointless government shutdown and reviving crucial services that assist farmers in California and around the country.

Josh Harder’s vote comes the same week he successfully called for the Secretary of Agriculture to help farmers by extending the deadline for tariff relief through the Market Facilitation Program, a program that is in a standstill because of the shutdown.

The Central Valley is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the entire United States, making up a major source of the country’s food production. The current government shutdown brings vital federal services to a halt and could spell disaster for our farmers if not brought to a swift end.

Here are just a few ways that farmers and the Department of Agriculture have been affected by the 20-day shutdown:

  • Farmers cannot apply to the USDA for new loans or financial relief—including relief for farmers affected by the trade war.
  • The USDA has closed every local and state farm service center in the country.
  • Farmers and markets are now in the dark because reporting on agricultural data has completely stopped. This includes the monthly global supply and demand estimates.

After his vote, Josh Harder issued the following statement:

“We need to end this pointless shutdown now. It’s impossible to think of the Central Valley without thinking about the farmers that makeup the bedrock of our community. Voting to fund the USDA and taking care of our farmers is a no-brainer, and I urge all of us to end the political gamesmanship now and get working on serving our constituents.”