EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — Sen. Sherrod Brown held a roundtable discussion with members of the agriculture community near East Palestine on Monday.
Farmers are concerned about whether their crops and animals could be compromised by exposure to chemicals in the air, water and soil. Sixteen farms near East Palestine had soil sampling done by a partnership between the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Ohio State.
Brown said he got a commitment from the USDA to support East Palestine as the town recovers from the train derailment and release of toxic chemicals. One farmer said that even though his products haven’t been affected, some of his clients have cold feet about buying from him.
“It’s more to sell their meat or their beef if they’re close by," Brown said. "The whole point is I’m gonna keep coming back as long as... until we get people’s lives back to normal.”
"They said, 'why don’t you buy from our neighbors at Lamppost farm?' And they’re like, 'no, that’s near East Palestine,'" Lamppost Farm owner Steve Montgomery said. "Well, that’s not what we want to hear. That’s not the true story. The true story is these animals are still very healthy. They’re doing, they’re living the lives they’re created to live and producing a good product as a result.”
The famers there likely won’t know how the derailment will affect their revenue for for a while. Brown said he plans on coming to East Palestine once a month to make sure the community is made whole again.