To the editor:
This year’s final state budget had a lot of good news for local farmers. It marked the second year in a row, that a fiscally responsible budget was approved on-time and without any increases in taxes or fees.
While that alone would be a major accomplishment, this budget also marked the first time since 2008 that support for agricultural programs increased. For this strong support, New York Farm Bureau is very grateful to Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair, Bill Magee.
Local assistance programs are a lifeline for farmers, and since 2008, this vital assistance had been slashed by nearly 70 percent. While fiscal times have been hard, farmers saw larger percentage cuts than almost any other industry.
This year was different, because Chairman Magee was able to recognize the needs of the agricultural community and rally his colleagues to our cause.
Each year, farmers face numerous challenges from unpredictable weather to naturally occurring blights and pests. Farmers never want a hand out, but what they do need is a backstop of support when times are tough. The local assistance programs that Assemblyman Magee fought for in this year’s State budget make a difference, not just for farmers, but for all New Yorkers.
On behalf of the nearly 30,000 members of New York Farm Bureau, I want to thank Assemblyman Magee for his leadership and friendship.
President, NY Farm Bureau