Republican candidate for the United States Senate, Dr. Mehmet Oz met with farmers in the region on Tuesday.
Dr. Oz was there to discuss some of the challenges facing the farming community.
Regional farmers met Dr. Oz in the North East. They said it is important for elected officials to reach out to the community.
Dozens of regional farmers voice their concerns about the agriculture industry to Dr. Oz.
The group met at Arrowhead Winery in the northeast.
Dr Oz said it is important to understand the challenges farmers face, as well as their contributions.
“My dad grew up as a farmer, so I understand the problems of farmers and respect what it means to put everything at risk or the cyclical nature of the industry. I scour the Commonwealth for the best ideas. I think we are stronger if we pick up left, right and middle together and come up with ideas that make our Commonwealth special,” said US Senate candidate Dr Mehmet Oz, (R).
Oz explained some of the issues he found with farmers and small business owners.
“Diesel fuel prices have tripled it seems, which is an impossible extra expense that they haven’t factored in. They also don’t have enough fertilizer. You need nitrates for a rich fertilizer,” Dr. Oz said.
An Erie County Farm Bureau Center leader said it’s important for elected officials to understand the needs of the farming community.
“We have fruit and vegetable producers. We have row crop producers. We have animal production. We have dairy products. All of these things reside right here in Erie County. We’re in for a really special opportunity to be able to connect our legislators to all of these facets of agriculture,” said Brian Young, vice president of the Erie Co Farm Bureau.
Local produce producers and cattle ranchers said they felt it was important for lawmakers to understand the impact of the farming industry on the Commonwealth.
Several farmers said that, ideally, elected officials use the feedback to create policies and regulations that support the industry.
“We believe in what we do. Dr Oz came here today to try to understand our issues so we can help him deal with positive change,” said farmer Edlyn Muir.
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Dr Oz said he plans to travel the Commonwealth and meet constituents so he can potentially be a voice for them in the Senate.