July 21-28: Veterans and Farmers

Jul 30, 2018

Our article Saving America's Family Farms was submitted late Friday (July 20) – all of it written through emails and phone calls. I decided to meet my co-author, Brenda Cochran, farmer and member of Farm Women United on Tuesday (July 24) in Lairdsville, Pennsylvania, at the first ever Citizen Hearings on the Dairy Crisis.

Then the endorsement from Veterans in Politics, International came through late Saturday night (July 21) and my focus changed for two days. The endorsement stunned me a bit:

Veterans in Politics, International proudly endorses Dr. Lynn S. Kahn for US Congresswoman District 21 for the Great State of New York. Dr. Kahn is the fabric of America, she is educated, an entrepreneur and dedicated in the spirit of American pride. Dr. Kahn is a great supporter of our military veterans and she knows how important it is to have judicial reform, especially in our Family Court System. We take great pleasure to endorse Dr. Kahn and we hope the voters in New York’s District 21 would unite with us and elect this great American.

Though this endorsement may seem strange, I think it happened for 3 reasons:

1) I have called for the full transformation of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) including:

  • A new mission and new performance measures that will drive the delivery of world-class health services and veterans benefits.
  • The transfer of $17 Billion from the military budget to the VA budget to expand access to and quality of veteran medical services and to fully fund Veterans Choice, all peer support and other service programs.
  • Tough consulting teams that include veterans, medical experts and financial auditors to go into each of the 100 VA facilities under criminal or internal investigation.

2) I have called for efforts to Transform Family Court citing the abuses and traumas inflicted by horrible foster care and child custody decisions, far too many of which impact our veterans.

3) I have called for a wiser foreign policy organized around peace-building that will never send America’s sons and daughters to wars that do not have to be fought.

As I wrote that Saturday night, I am honored and humbled by this endorsement and I will work to be worthy of your encouragement.

Monday I left for Pennsylvania. Tuesday’s event attracted about 35 people, mostly farmers, some agriculture experts, a few politicians and lots of stories about devastation in rural communities throughout America. I learned that government prices milk BELOW the cost of production and then deductions are taken from the paychecks of small farmers for many different reasons AFTER the milk leaves the farm. Farm policy is a weapon to eradicate small, family farms especially dairy farms.

The article Brenda and I wrote covered a lot of this, though hearing the emotional experiences of farmers giving testimony – or whose testimony was read into the record – demonstrated the urgency of saving family farms for the communities and to save local control over our food supply.

I got back to New York in time for the Saratoga County Fair, then spent the weekend talking with voters and small business owners. I took in a great street festival in Ticonderoga on Saturday and then the fantastic country sounds of Schroon Jam 6.

With this blog, we are ready to start our Get Out the Vote efforts. Please volunteer for ways to help get the message out about our campaign.