ALBANY — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie today announced the fiscal year 2020 Enacted Budget includes $33.2 million in local assistance funding to grow New York’s agriculture industry. This funding will provide critical dollars to support specialized technical assistance, research, agricultural economic development and promotion, agricultural access, education and workforce programming.
“Agriculture is a leading driver of the New York State economy and the bedrock of so many local communities,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding targets critical areas of the industry to incentivize and spur growth, while supporting programs that will sustain farms and the world-class products they sell for generations to come.”
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “New York is home to a $5 billion agricultural industry that provides hundreds of thousands of jobs for our state’s residents. The Senate Majority was proud to support common sense investments throughout New York State to keep our economy growing and innovating. I commend Senator Jen Metzger, the Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, for her leadership on this critical issue. The Senate Majority will continue to work with our partners in local and state government to invest in New York’s agriculture and agritourism industries.”
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “During my annual statewide tour, I am always impressed with the quality and diversity of agriculture in New York, and how integral it is to our communities and economy. In this year’s budget we restored millions of dollars in funding for research, marketing and support for programs for our agricultural community. The Assembly Majority, led by our Agriculture Chair Donna Lupardo, will continue to fight so our farmers and farm workers have the resources they need to grow and thrive.”
“New York is committed to supporting and growing our robust agricultural industry,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “This funding will ensure the continued support and success of local farmers who provide the best products to New York families and people worldwide. We’re proud to invest and promote the agriculture industry to increase sales and expand resources available to our farms across the state.”
In January of 2019, the Governor proposed a historic $29.5 million in local assistance funding for New York’s agriculture industry, an increase of more than $8 million from the previous year’s Executive Budget proposal. The Legislature provided additional support in several areas for the final 2019-20 Enacted Budget. A snapshot of programs funded include:
- $4.088 million for Cornell University Education and Outreach programs, such as Agriculture in the Classroom, Future Farmers of America, Cornell University Farm Labor Specialist and Pro-Dairy
- $1.555 million for Cornell University Research and Development programs in the areas of berries, honeybees, maple, onions, vegetable, hard cider, Concord grapes and hops and barley
- $5.887 million for Agricultural Development programs, such as Taste NY, Grow NY, NYS Brewers Association, NYS Cider Association, NYS Distillers Guild, NY Wine and Grape Foundation, NY Christmas Tree Farmers Association, NYS Apple Association, NYS Maple Producers and more
- $10.9 million for Ag Access and Education programs, such as $750,000 for Farm-to-School, $250,000 for the Tractor Rollover Program operated byNew York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health, and $9.275 million for Agribusiness Child Development centers, which provide early childhood education and social services to farm worker families across New York State
- $7.655 million for the Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center, which provides laboratory testing services for the improved health of animals
- $2.035 million for the Farm Viability Institute, which provides funding for agricultural research projects
Senator Jen Metzger, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said, “The 2020 State Budget supports a diverse array of programs that help ensure a strong, vital, and sustainable agricultural economy in New York. Whether in the areas of agricultural research, farmland preservation, farm-to-school, or promotion of New York-grown products, these investments are important to the health of our agricultural economy, the environment and our long-term food security.”
Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Donna Lupardo said, “Providing adequate funding for our core agricultural programs is an essential responsibility of state government exercised through the budget process. Support for research, education, marketing and development are key to helping producers implement best practices from planting, to harvest, to market. We are very fortunate to have such a strong agricultural economy in NYS because of the dedication and collaboration of all involved. Finding ways to help this sector grow and thrive must remain a top priority.”
Local assistance funding supports core agricultural programs. The Enacted 2019-20 Budget included additional funding to support marketing and promotional programs, such as Taste NY, as well as an additional $2.5 million in capital funding for the New York State Fair. The Budget also provided $300 million for the Environmental Protection Fund, which supports key agricultural environment programs, including $18 million for Farmland Protection, $18 million for the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program, $10.5 million for Soil and Water Conservation Districts and $4.5 million for the Climate Resilient Farms Program.
–NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets
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