On Monday, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand traveled to the Pine Island area of Orange County’s black dirt to promote the advantages of the recently passed and by President Joe Biden signed Inflation Reduction Act, which is anticipated to support farmers like Chris Pawelski.
The law includes more than $5 billion in assistance for struggling farmers, including loan forgiveness and cash to support the transition of farmers and rural communities to climate-friendly agricultural techniques and green energy.
Important provisions of the Relief for Small Farmers Act, which Pawelski worked with Gillibrand to draft, were incorporated into broader legislation to reduce inflation. Chris was having financial difficulties, just like many farmers in New York, according to Gillibrand.
“The farmers of New York are essential to our state’s economy. To reduce their debt and maintain their businesses, many farms and farmers, like Chris, are in urgent need of direct loan forgiveness. Chris Pawelski, a black soil onion grower who assisted Gillibrand in creating the law, termed it a remarkable accomplishment.
“This has to do with wise public policy. We don’t want a few powerful corporations out in the sparsely populated northwest to determine how much food is produced. Maintaining our domestic food supply is essential, especially with small family farms. Like many farmers, Pawelski has struggled to maintain his operation due to bad weather and a pandemic that increased expenses and decreased demand.