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Legislative Affairs

Priority Issues for 2017

The New York Farm Bureau Board of Directors has established the following state and national Priority Issues for 2017. See NYFB's complete state and national priority issue booklets as PDF files. 


Also cominng soon NYFB's budget analysis of the Governor's 2017 Executive Budget Proposal.


2017 Policy Book  




I. Oppose unworkable farm labor mandates, while making much needed updates and reforms to New York State labor laws and regulations and providing assistance with farm compliance


a. Oppose the omnibus farmworker labor bill and components thereof
b. Update housing allowances, tie them to costs in the community and allow them to be calculated as part of         employee wages
c. Allow employees to pay their own utilities when provided housing by farm employers
d. Allow farm employees to request exemption from mandatory lunch breaks during the work day
e. Allow rent for housing provided to year-round employees by the farm to be deducted from paychecks, as             long as both parties agree in writing
f. Provide funding for an agricultural workforce specialist at Cornell University


II. Enact a Refundable Investment Tax Credit for farmers


This initiative would incentivize farm investment to meet the needs of global competition in a period of very low commodity prices and weather-related crop losses.


III. Double the minimum wage tax credit for farmers starting in 2017


Increasing the agricultural minimum wage tax credit will help offset increased labor costs on farms and help them better compete with farms in neighboring states.


IV. Support for funding for critical food safety, animal health and agricultural promotion and economic development programs in the Agriculture and Markets budget


V. Support for funding of Environmental Protection Fund programs that provide cost-sharing of critical farm water quality and farmland protection projects that allow farms to reinvest in their farm business


a. Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution and Abatement Program
b. Quality Assurance/Quality Control funding for CAFO planners


VI. Provide and implement an institutional preference for New York-grown food for state institutional purchasing

This change would help increase markets, and hopefully prices, for New York farms across all commodity         groups.


VII. Support reform of New York’s inherent risk laws

New York is one of the very few states that does not have such protections for equine and agritourism businesses. This legislation will protect the liability of equine and agritourism operations in cases when there is no negligence on behalf of the farmer.


VIII. Support a state tax credit for donations of locally grown food by farmers to food banks

This legislation would help farmers defray the costs of picking, packing and transporting their donated product to   food banks and allow more locally-produced food to be shared with those in need.