New York Farm Bureau President's Response to Governor's State of the State Address

“Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address called for bold action to address unprecedented challenges facing this state and that must include major obstacles facing farmers and our rural communities.

His 2018 agenda to make New York a leader in agricultural technology and food research is a step in that direction. While food safety is of utmost importance to farmers and consumers alike, we must support efforts that give farms the tools they need to address environmental challenges as well as meet the processing needs that consumers want. Research is a tool that is as important to farmers as the plows, harvesters and tractors they use to produce our food and fiber.

Opening up new market opportunities also will benefit farmers, and the Governor’s plan to expand on industrial hemp production and processing is appreciated. There is a demand from farmers looking to diversify their operations, and this is another way to capitalize on the effort. We are also hopeful proposed summits for forestry and logging as well as for Concord grapes will explore new ways to address the needs of those industries, and we look forward to engaging with the administration at these events on behalf of our members.

The Governor’s proposal to reduce child hunger is another positive step as well by looking to put more farm fresh food into school cafeterias. New York Farm Bureau is making this issue one of its priorities for the year, and our members will advocate to increase school reimbursement to incentivize the purchase of more New York grown and minimally processed food.

Governor Cuomo also highlighted efforts to take on opioid addiction and tick borne illnesses. Both of these health crises affect rural New Yorkers in high numbers, and New York Farm Bureau is committed to helping him push for funding to better protect farm families and their neighbors.

At the same time, the New York State must double down on its efforts to reduce taxes and regulations and address labor challenges that continue to plague small businesses. New York Farm Bureau has good relationships with the Governor’s office and state agencies, and we will continue to press the case that the state’s family farms cannot endure any more legislation or regulatory changes that add to their burden. The farm economy still lags behind the overall economy with continued low commodity prices, and this reality is part of the unprecedented challenges that must be taken into consideration in 2018,” said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President.

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New York Farm Bureau is the State’s largest agricultural lobbying/trade organization. Its members and the public know the organization as “The Voice of New York Agriculture.” New York Farm Bureau is dedicated to solving the economic and public policy issues challenging the agricultural community.