Assemblyman Blankenbush to hold agriculture 'listening forum' Feb. 24 in Madrid
Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - 2:30 pm

MADRID -- Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush will host an agriculture "listening forum" at 10 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 24 at Madrid Hepburn Library, 11 Church St.

The 122nd District Assemblyman is ranking minority member on the Assembly Agriculture Committee.

Blankenbush says he is seeking input from farmers and agribusiness on what they consider the most critical issues and concerns in agriculture.

Assemblyman Blankenbush says he is timing this meeting and others in Jefferson and Lewis counties to coincide with state budget negotiations.

“This year’s budget process is going to be difficult. No program is safe, and therefore, we are going to have to fight for every dollar for Northern New York, including funding for important agriculture programs,” said Blankenbush. “I need to know what farmers’ priorities are and how we can convince downstate Albany lawmakers, many of who have never been on a farm, that agriculture funding is an investment in economic development, and not simply spending.”

Blankenbush is also seeking input on other state legislative issues related to agriculture, including environmental and labor regulations.

Senator Patty Ritchie, who chairs of the Senate Agriculture Committee, has been invited to attend the forums.