Washington, DC: The National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association, founded in 2005, announced this week the hiring of Joel Segal, the former senior legislative assistant and speech writer to the late former civil rights icon Representative John Conyers, (D-MI) the former Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and the Dean of Congressional Black Caucus. NLFRTA is one of the leading national Latino agriculture advocacy organizations for small farmers, who face numerous challenges, such as lack of access to Broadband, debt, bankruptcy, drought, flooding, and much needed resources such as land, capital, equipment and the knowledge of accessing USDA programs available to operate small farms. The 2017 Census of Agriculture had 112, 451 producers who identified as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin, accounting for 3.3 percent of the 3.4 million producers. Hispanic operated farms accounted for 5.6 percent of U.S. Agriculture sales and 3.6 percent of U.S. farmland. Texas has more Hispanic farmers than any other state: in six Texas counties, 80% or more of farms were Hispanic operated.
Rudy Arredondo, the President/CEO/Founder of NLFRTA said, “We are very excited to have Joel Segal representing small farmers from ethnic communities with his extensive knowledge of the Congress; and to represent NLFRTA in all federal affairs. Joel has many close working relationships with Members of Congress and senior Hill staffers from both sides of the aisle. He also has 14 years of working outside of Congress as an advocate for the working poor, clean renewable energy, affordable housing, voting rights, human rights, and social justice. Joel is highly respected in Congress, and is known on the Hill as one of the key staffers who played a leading role in the passage of Obamacare and PEPFAR.
Joel comes to NLFRTA with a very creative vision to help small farmers of color, which includes working to pass federal legislation that would create universal access to broadband in rural areas, affordable housing for small farmers, expanding markets for small farmers who are experiencing crushing debt and bankruptcy. Joel is creative, thinks big, and out of the box. He is presently working on federal legislation where the federal government works in partnership with small farmers, businesses, and NGO’s to feed the hungry, create universal access to rural Broadband, create cold storage at food banks, expanding apprenticeship and classroom training programs for aspiring young farmers, and address civilization threatening climate change.”
Juan M. Garcia, Board Chairman of NLFRTA, and former Farm Service Agency Administrator at the U. S. Department of Agriculture appointed by Secretary Tom Vilsack in 2012 said, “We are very excited about hiring Joel Segal. He was one of the lead Hill staffers who worked for nine years day and night for the passage of the Affordable Care Act, ( Obamacare) The Katrina Relief Act, and PEPFAR, President George W. Bush’s signature Global HIV/AIDS program. Joel is the author of numerous bills, including HR 676, the now very popular “Expanded and Improved Medicare For All Act, and has drafted several federal bills on clean renewable energy/climate change and election protection. Joel has organized scores of Congressional briefings and official Hearings, so he knows how Congress works, and how to pass legislation, by organizing intersectional and multi-racial coalitions that have the critical mass needed to pass a bill in Congress.”
Joel Segal said, “I am honored to represent NLFRTA in Congress and federal affairs, it is a dream come true for me. There is a special place in my heart for small farmers from ethnic communities. They put food on the table for millions of Americans, yet they face many serious challenges to be sustainable and remain competitive, which can be successfully addressed through targeted and strategic federal government investments and policies. Furthermore, I consider President/CEO Rudy Arredondo a visionary, and one of the most passionate advocates for small farmers that I have ever had the pleasure to work with. NLFRTA has an extensive nationwide network of small farmers from multi-ethnic communities and has become one of the leading national organizations in America working to address climate change. Farmers are our nation’s “first responders,” when there is drought, fires, and floods, small farmers get hit hard; Congress and the civil society will listen to small farmers regarding climate change.”
For Media Inquiries Contact:
Taylor Reed Branson Joel Segal
NLFRTA Board of Directors NLFRTA Director of Federal Affairs