A proposal to permanently slow down First-Class Mail delivery would be “catastrophic” for family farmers, National Farmers Union (NFU) indicated in comments submitted today to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
Because rural areas often lack both services like banks, pharmacies, polling places, and supply stores as well as access to broadband internet and private delivery services, residents disproportionately depend on USPS to receive medication, vote, communicate with friends and family, cash checks, and conduct business. This includes farmers, who “rely on quick and affordable delivery” to receive essential supplies like “seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, and. . .live animals like chicks and bees.” Given its importance, NFU has consistently urged legislators to “support the United States Postal Service and ensure prompt delivery and affordable rates in all parts of the country, including rural areas.”
Currently, First-Class mail is supposed to be delivered within a one- to three-day time frame; however, in an effort to cut costs, USPS has proposed extending that range to five days, which could put “rural. . .businesses and livelihoods at risk.” The delay would be particularly detrimental for packages containing time-sensitive materials such as live animals, perishable foods, ballots, and prescription medications.
For that reason, NFU “is opposed to the proposed service standard changes.” Instead, the organization urged USPS to focus on “improving the delays of service in the past year, not making those delays permanent.”