Goodin sends letter to governor urging him to create task force for the aid of Hoosier farmers
INDIANAPOLIS — State Representative Terry Goodin (D-Austin) yesterday sent a letter to Governor Holcomb urging him to establish a task force specifically for the aid of Hoosier farmers and rural constituents. These workers and their families have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic as meat processing plants are closing, dairy farms are forced to dump thousands of gallons of milk, and small farmers are obligated to restructure the way they do business.
The text of the letter is pasted below:
April 16, 2020
The Honorable Eric Holcomb
Governor of Indiana
200 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
Dear Governor Holcomb,
I would like to express my gratitude for all you have done and continue to do for Indiana during this public health crisis. As you know, there is still much more work to be done, especially for our Hoosier farmers and constituents living in rural communities. Our rural constituents face real problems in enduring this pandemic, like limited access to healthcare, food, medicines and even little or no access to the internet.
One of the most vital resources Indiana has to offer is its agriculture, and it's been hit hard in the past several months. Not only did federal tariffs put small farmers all over the nation behind, but those effects have been further intensified by the negative consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. As this crisis unfolds, farmers have been faced with added tasks on their to-do lists, including filling in gaps in their supplies, amending sanitation rules and reworking their business plans. To add insult to injury, they're also facing financial trouble as more meat processing facilities close, leaving livestock producers with nowhere to sell their product. Just today, the Indianapolis Star put out an article about Hoosier dairy farmers being forced to dump nearly 30,000 gallons of milk due to a disruption in the supply chain. Likewise, for some time now, we've seen a rise in suicides nationwide among farmers due to the stress of trade wars and tariffs and I fear this will only worsen with the added stress of getting through this pandemic.
It is my responsibility as a state representative to find solutions to the problems afflicting my constituents, and consequently, I would like to request a task force be established specifically for the aid of Hoosier farmers and rural constituents. This will prove to be a step in the right direction, not only for the rural Hoosiers and farmers, but for all Hoosiers as they could struggle to find meat and produce in the coming months. Hoosier farmers and their families are hurting, but they continue to work hard every day to keep their neighbors fed. Let us stand up for our farmers and rural families to help restore the cornerstone of one of Indiana's leading industries. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
Dr. Terry Goodin