By LILY WILSON
On March 21, The New York State Senate took up a comprehensive package of bills that would strengthen and preserve agriculture as the state’s leading industry. The bipartisan measures help support farm workforce retention and expansion through creating new tax credits for preserving farmland, transitioning to organic certification, and offering healthy options in communities.
“The Senate Majority Conference has been leading the charge in reversing damaging funding cuts and investing in innovative efforts – like our New Farmers program – that are helping to protect the future of agriculture. This plan will help support the hardworking farmers responsible for the continued success of New York’s leading industry, as well as provide the agriculture professionals of tomorrow with the resources they need to be successful,” said Senator Patty Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton), Chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee.
These measures build upon the Senate’s ongoing commitment to agriculture, including its role as the undisputed leader in restoring more than $55 million in proposed state funding cuts since 2011. This funding has helped support investments in cutting-edge agricultural research, education for the next generation of family farmers, environmental stewardship, and protections for plant, animal, and public health.
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