CAMDEN, Del. — U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) was honored with the Friend of Farm Bureau Award Monday in recognition of his legislative support of American farmers and ranchers.
The award, offered by the American Farm Bureau Federation, was presented by Delaware Farm Bureau President Richard Wilkins at the DEFB office in Camden. Also on hand for the award presentation were First Vice-President Laura Hill, Sussex County Farm Bureau President Steve Breeding and Kent County Vice President David Marvel.
“Delaware agriculture plays a critical role in our state’s economy and helps to keep food on the tables of American families across the country,” Sen. Coons said. “Finding ways to support our hardworking farmers is one of my top priorities. I’m honored to receive this award and will continue using my position in the Senate to advocate for agriculture and Delaware farmers, especially during this difficult time.”
The Friend of Farm Bureau Award is presented to selected members of the United States Congress every two years in honor of their congressional voting record in support of Farm Bureau positions on policy issues. They must be nominated by their state Farm Bureau in order to be considered by the national organization for the award. Congressional members nominated then need to be approved by the AFBF Board of Directors before the award can be presented.
In Delaware, Wilkins says both Sen. Coons and U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) fit the bill. Sen. Carper was presented with the same award Friday afternoon at Stayton Farm in Houston.
Sen. Coons takes his involvement within the agriculture industry to a new level as a co-chair for the U.S. Senate Chicken Caucus. This year, he worked with the caucus, industry leaders and legislative colleagues to advocate for Coronavirus relief funds in the form of direct payments for contract chicken growers who were not included the first round of relief measures.
“Delaware Farm Bureau appreciates Senator Coons’s bipartisan spirit. As the co-chair of the Senate Chicken Caucus, he has been a tireless advocate of gaining greater market access for USA poultry globally, as well as working for solutions to challenges that our poultry farmers face domestically,” DEFB President Richard Wilkins said.
The senator has also pushed for help in both the HEROES Act, 2.0 and the HEALS Act, or Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protections & Schools Act, continuing his commitment to farmers, ranchers and their operations at all sizes throughout the United States.
According to his office, Sen. Coons, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has also advocated for funding for entities such as the Farm Service Agency, Food Safety Inspection Service and APHIS, or the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. These funds work to improve on rural development, environmental issues, land conservation and rural housing programs. Agriculture research is also included in this year’s appropriations bills, much of which is facilitated in the First State at the University of Delaware, his office said.
U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) bumps the elbow of Delaware Farm Bureau First Vice President Laura Hill during a visit to the state office in Camden Monday.
–Jenn Antonik, Delaware Farm Bureau