Late medications, bills never received and livestock dead on arrival are just a few of the consequences Delaware farmers have faced due to problems with the United States Postal Service over the last year.
Searching for answers, Delaware Farm Bureau members reached out to local and state legislators for help; Senator Chris Coons, D-Del., made sure their voices were heard this week from the Senate floor.
“Bill Powers, a former county councilman I know well from New Castle County, member of the Farm Bureau, is a long time turkey grower who now provides fresh eggs for local farmers markets. Bill’s experienced significant losses with turkey and chick deliveries and called my office with concerns,” he said while mentioning just a few of the thousands of constituent contacts he has had regarding this issue.
The Delaware Farm Bureau also sent a letter to Sen. Coons and Tom Carper and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester in January detailing some of the postal service concerns facing farmers.
At the end of Coons’ speech to the Senate, he discussed a letter sent from another Farm Bureau Member, Trebs Thompson of Newark, an egg farmer with Whimsical Farms.
“Trebs wrote, ‘Largely our postal service has been a jewel. It handles a large volume of mail cheaply with a high degree of speed and accuracy. Many of us depend on it for paperwork, medications, orders, payments and, for farmers like me, seeds and day old chicks. The post office has been shipping day old chicks to farms like mine,’ Trebs wrote, ‘for over 100 years. Today, all 20 baby hens arrived cold and lifeless. I cried as I opened the box. The postal supervisor cried. The gentleman who normally delivers my mail apologized profusely but it’s not his fault. Whatever one feels about mail in ballots or politics,’ she wrote, ‘I’m asking you to put this aside and do what you can to restore the postal service.’ Madame President, Trebs Thompson is right. No farmer should ever have to open a box of dead chicks.”
The Delaware Farm Bureau will continue to advocate for the needs of farmers and ranchers in the First State. For more information, please visit www.defb.org.