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Bi-Partisan Support for Final State Budget Good for Agriculture

by Jeff Williams 

NYFB Director of Public Policy


The New York State budget for fiscal year 2024-2025 was three weeks past the April 1 deadline, but needed funding for agriculture was included in the final document.

Given the diverse nature of agriculture in New York State, budget funding ranges from the promotion of our apple, maple, and wine industries, among others, to research for vegetable, row crop and dairy farms. Critical research on Integrated Pest Management and how climate change impacts on farms are also included. Funding assistance to help schools purchase more locally grown food, support Long Island’s burgeoning aquaculture industry and expand milk storage capacity on farms also make their way into the final budget.

Farm environmental funding for water quality, farmland protection and Soil and Water Districts is also included in the final document.

New York Farm Bureau also successfully supported budget language that will sunset New York’s Covid-19 Sick Leave law starting July 31, 2025. The 2020 COVID-19 Sick Leave law required employers to provide sick leave benefits, paid family leave, and benefits due to disability for employees subject to mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.

When it comes to the protection of farmland under stress from potential solar development, New York Farm Bureau also successfully supported language in the final budget document to protect farmland from the state’s Build Ready program.  The Build Ready program is designed to locate and assess sites within the state that appear suitable for solar development to make it easier to locate installations. New language in the state budget now prevents land used in agricultural production, land in agricultural district or land that contains mineral soil groups 1-4 from being considered for development under this program.

New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher, commented on the final budget agreement for agriculture.

“The final New York State Budget reflects many of New York Farm Bureau’s legislative priorities, including sustained funding for important agricultural programs. They include marketing, research, and conservation programs that provide essential support to the state's family farms.

New York Farm Bureau is especially appreciative of the new funding to expand milk storage capacity and improve sustainability efforts on farms. However, we are disappointed that farmworker housing is not included in the refundable Investment Tax Credit. NYFB members will continue to advocate for the needs of their essential employees.

Our farms provide nourishment for every New York community, large and small, and serve as a leading driver of the state’s economy. New York Farm Bureau thanks Gov. Hochul, the Agriculture Committee Chairs, Sen. Michelle Hinchey and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, and all of the lawmakers who advocated for New York’s hardworking farm families in this budget. Investing in agriculture benefits all of New York State.”