ALBANY — As chair of the Assembly’s Committee on Agriculture, I advocate for New York’s farmers and rural communities every day. I know farming is hard work, and while I can’t make it rain or force the sun to shine, I can help make sure farmers have the state’s support. As a voice for New York farmers, I’ve fought to cut red tape and invest in agricultural programs so our farms can thrive.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be devoting my attention to this year’s state budget. Last year, I fought to restore over $10 million for agriculture programs that had been cut in the governor’s proposal. Critical programs such as the New York Farm Viability Institute and the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Program are essential because they work to expand farms’ profitability and protect our natural resources.
One of my top priorities is helping new farmers get started in the agriculture business. Starting a farm can be daunting, especially in a field where so much is dependent on uncontrollable conditions. But we need to encourage a new crop of farmers to take the helm. To support them, I’ll keep pushing the state’s Agriculture Advisory Council to provide tax and financial advice to the new generation. The process can be overwhelming, and there’s no reason that our knowledgeable experts cannot help new farmers navigate unfamiliar terrain. I’m also working to develop an inventory of state land that might be viable for farming.
Another important concern is determining how to assist dairy farms across the state that are being crippled by low milk prices. I’ll keep working with my colleagues in Albany to find ways to help the dairy industry bounce back.
As we delve into 2017, I remain committed to strengthening our farms and cutting taxes and red tape. When New York farms grow and succeed, our state can too. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at MageeW@nyassembly.gov or by calling 315-361-4125.
—The Office of Assemblyman William Magee
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