Assemblyman Magee: Federal Agriculture Funding Cuts Will Hurt New York Farmers

October 12, 2017

Here in New York State, agriculture is one of the strongest economic forces. Our farmland is expansive, making up 23 percent of New Yorkís land area.1 Farms provide our state with everything from food for school lunches to employment opportunities and much more. However, this vital industry continues to be threatened by federal budget cuts.

A recent proposal to cut federal agriculture funding hurts New York farmers. The cuts would severely harm U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, but could also lead to reductions of state-administered agriculture programs that rely on federal funds. Federal funding is essential to ensure that our stateís farms can continue providing all the goods and products we rely on every day. Budget cuts could threaten programs like SNAP and FreshConnect, environmental measures such as pollinator protection programs, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), as well as lead to cuts in safety compliance, agricultural employment and support for farmers recovering from natural disasters.

As chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, Iím committed to ensuring New Yorkís agriculture industry receives all of the funding and support it needs to thrive. Recently, the state Department of Agriculture and Markets began hosting listening tours across the state to provide constituents with the chance to have their voices heard and to discuss the federal 2018 Farm Bill. I encourage all residents to attend a listening session as well as contact their congressperson, because your voice matters and should always be heard.

Itís important that our state comes together and calls on the federal government to maintain funding for critical agriculture programs that help New York farmers get ahead. To find out more about the listening tours, please visit agriculture.ny.gov, or if you canít make a session, comments can be submitted by email to farmbill@agriculture.ny.gov.

Iíll continue doing my part in the Assembly to speak out on behalf of farmers and the agriculture industry. As always, Iím here to help. If you have any questions about this or any other community issue, please call my office at 315-361-4125 or email me at MageeW@nyassembly.gov.

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1 agriculture.ny.gov/AD/release.asp?ReleaseID=3612