From left are Jefferson County Agriculture Coordinator Jay Matteson; Agribusiness owner James Curtis, of Canton; Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patty Ritchie; Phil Randazzo, owner of Coyote Moon Vineyards; and Mary and Allen Kelly, Rensselaer Falls Dairy farmers.
OGDENSBURG -- Members of state Sen. Patty Ritchie’s Agricultural Advisory Council met in Ogdensburg recently to discuss new initiatives to help farmers, including the Senator’s new “Grown in NY” plan.
“Our farmers are the backbone of New York State’s economy, and it’s so important that we give them the tools they need to create jobs and expand their industry,” Sen. Ritchie said.
Formed in 2011, the Agricultural Advisory Council is tasked with identifying challenges and opportunities for growth in the agriculture industry.
At the meeting, Sen. Ritchie discussed her “Grown in NY” plan, which is aimed at strengthening the state’s $5.2 billion agriculture industry by expanding markets for New York-grown products, improving the bottom lines of family farms and investing in the future of farming.
Introduced earlier this week, Ritchie’s “Grown in New York” plan would:
• Reduce taxes on farmers;
• Eliminate the burdensome 18-a energy tax surcharge;
• Curtail red tape and outdated regulations;
• Improve farmers’ access to customers by expanding farmers markets and food hubs;
• Put more New York-grown products in schools and government facilities;
• Encourage the growth of New York’s maple and wine industries;
• Put idled farmland back in production; and
• Improve farm safety.
For more information on “Grown in New York” visit www.ritchie.nysenate.gov.