To the Editor:
Without Congressional action today, agriculture policy in this country is left in limbo much like what happened one year ago.
Only this time, the likelihood of a one-year extension seems remote. This only raises the uncertainty level on our farms that are looking to plan ahead for next year as the current harvest season enters its final stages.
How does any business set a budget, purchase supplies, or make hiring decisions without having some idea of what governmental policies are in place that have a direct impact on what they do day-in and day-out? This is the dilemma facing all of our farms that contribute so much to the physical and economic health of their communities.
New York Farm Bureau has worked well with our representation in Washington, DC. We urge lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to act soon in Conference Committee to hammer out a compromise on the legislation passed in the Senate and the House. Without it, our dairies are put in an especially vulnerable position if volatile milk prices swing too low. This will continue to leave many of New York’s important fruit and vegetable growers without a reasonable safety net as well. In addition, a number of other cost saving reforms and vital programs will be cast aside if there is no movement to secure a responsible farm policy in the next few months.
It won’t just be the state’s farmers who will pay the price of not having a Farm Bill in place, but consumers as well, who increasingly want access to local food. We are in the business of feeding people, and it is also important that the neediness of New Yorkers have the ability to put healthy food on their families’ dinner tables.
Dean Norton, President
New York Farm Bureau