our objectives

Every Farmer Matters…to New York’s Economyobjectives
**Statistics courtesy USDA, NYSDAM & Farm Credit East

  • Agriculture is important to New York’s economy. The value of agricultural production was $5.67 billion in 2013.
  • Almost a quarter of the land in the state is used by NY’s nearly 36,000 farms to produce a very diverse array of products.
  • 99% of farms in the state are family owned.
  • Milk and Cattle account for nearly 28,500 jobs.
  • Fruit production and Wineries account for more than 10,000 jobs.
  • Vegetable farming created 7,396 jobs.
  • Greenhouse and Nursery production generated 6,700 jobs.

STATE PRIORITIES

Click Here to View the Complete 2015 State Priorities (pdf)

Driving the Economy

  • Support for a refundable investment tax credit to incentivize farm investment
  • Establish a bonus depreciation program for farms in New York. The program would accelerate

    Top Ten Agricultural Products in New York

    1. Milk
    2. Corn for Grain
    3. Hay
    4. Cattle
    5. Apples
    6. Floriculture
    7. Cabbage
    8. Sweet Corn (Fresh)
    9. Potatoes
    10. Tomatoes


    depreciation on farm investment in a manner similar to the federal bonus depreciation benefit
  • Move LLC and Partnership tax filings from March 1st to April 15th
  • Remove the requirement that farms that employ H2A workers’ pay Unemployment Insurance for
    those workers
  • Clarify that farms are eligible for the newly established Manufacturers’ Tax Credit when they are
    “related parties”
  • Support basing LLC filing fees on net income instead of gross income
  • Support safe drilling for natural gas in all formations in New York State
  • Support reform of New York’s Inherent Risk law for equine operations

Investing in Agriculture

  • Support for funding for critical food safety, animal health and agricultural promotion and economic development programs in the Agriculture and Markets budget
  • Support for funding of Environmental Protection Fund programs that provide cost-sharing of critical farm water quality and farmland protection projects that allow farms to reinvest in their farm business
  • Re-establish funding in the state budget for Quality Assurance/Quality Control for CAFO planners in New York State
  • Work to ensure common sense and fair CAFO permit requirements during the latest permit re-write
  • Establish Freedom of Information Law protections for farms enrolled in state government programs

    New York’s National Rankings

    • 1st Yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, cabbage and pumpkins
    • 2nd Apples, squash and maple
    • 3rd Milk, corn silage, grapes, cauliflower
    • 4th Cheese, pears, snap beans, cucum­bers, sweet corn, and tomatoes
    • 5th Onions, tart cherries and Christmas trees

  • Expand opportunities for farm investment in anaerobic digester and other renewable energy
    opportunities
  • Ease wholesale tax reporting requirements for all wineries in New York
  • Move Agricultural Assessment program management from the Department of Taxation and
    Finance to the Department of Agriculture and Markets

Growing Locally, Eating Locally

  • Mandate greater protection of farmland, in relation to wetlands, when siting any public project
  • Support regional food hubs and requiring the Office General Services to provide OGS warehouse
    space to house local food product for transport to state institutions and schools
  • Support a state tax credit for donations of locally grown food by farmers to Food Banks
  • Provide state and New York City funding to offset the skilled harvest and transportation of food from farms to food banks
  • Provide regional equity for agricultural projects under the CFA grant program

Expanding Market Opportunities

  • Support immediate investment in repair of critical road and bridge infrastructure to maintain quality access to farm fields and consumers in order to alleviate farm access issues, such as municipalities lowering weight limits on bridges instead of addressing the structural problem
  • Oppose any increases to tolls on the New York State Thruway to fund the construction of a new Tappan Zee bridge
  • Establish a Farm EZ-Pass for more affordable market access to urban consumers
  • Support allowing agency action to establish new and expanded wine trails in New York State
  • Establish an “Agricultural” license plate for trailers used in agriculture

Farmers Feeding New York

New York Farm Bureau members rank amongst the top in the country when it comes to feeding their own! The “Harvest for All” donation program, a nationwide annual farm donation partnership linking the Farm Bureau and Feeding America in each state, has been a successful affiliation for NYFB. Since the Harvest for All program began 10 years ago, New York farmers routinely rank at the top of the list among states for their generosity.

The giving nature of the NYS agricultural community was demonstrated in 2014 with a total of almost 10 million pounds of food donated by New York Farm Bureau members. That translates to about eight million nutritious meals, according to the Food Bank Association of New York.

Members and agricultural partners give as part of a yearlong effort to feed the hungry across the state.

Legislative Programs

Circle of Friends Award
New York Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization that does not endorse candidates. In order to recognize our legislative supporters, we have a Circle of Friends program that is awarded at the end of every legislative session. This award is given to those state legislators who have a superior voting record on issues of importance to New York agriculture.

While the Circle of Friends award is not an official endorsement, it allows Farm Bureau to publicly thank specific legislators for their dedication and hard work on behalf of the agricultural industry. During each session year, New York Farm Bureau’s Public Policy Division issues position statements on various bills relating to agricultural issues and our state policy.

The Circle of Friends award is distributed on the basis of a legislator’s voting record and sponsorship of bills that Farm Bureau has either supported or opposed throughout the course of the legislative session. Only bills of statewide importance to farmers will be included within the Circle of Friends program.

New York Farm Bureau announces award recipients at the end of each legislative cycle and presents the award to legislators at our annual Lobby Day in Albany.

Adopt-a-Legislator Program
Farmers realize that not every lawmaker is fortunate enough to have farms located in their home district. However, every constituent does need to eat, and therefore, everyone in New York is impacted by the health of the farm economy.

New York Farm Bureau’s county members “adopt” legislators who do not represent farm districts, frequently forming long-standing relationships with city legislators and/or their staff members. Several county Farm Bureaus have hosted legislative tours and visits to farms in their counties for city legislators, while others simply visit with “adoptees” during our annual Lobby Days. These relationships have proven to be valuable both on the farm and in the capital.

The Adopt a Legislator program is one of the most rewarding activities for our members and for legislators, as it allows for the even exchange of ideas and issues facing both rural and urban New York. Legislators are able to better understand the challenges facing agriculture and our state’s farm families. Likewise, farmers are able to learn about the unique challenges of their urban neighbors. Cooperating in this way has helped develop and implement creative solutions to shared problems.

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NATIONAL PRIORITIES

Agricultural Economic Development and Investment

  • Monitor implementation of the 2008 Farm Bill to ensure programs beneficial to New York agriculture, including dairy and specialty crops, are put into effect in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Support enhanced efforts by the USDA to assure food safety and to promote consumer confidence in the food supply through science based research and the use of modern technology.
  • Support legislation and regulations ensuring that agricultural imports are subject to equivalent inspection, sanitary requirements, pesticide use restrictions, and quality standards as domestic produce.
  • Provide an estate tax payment deferral for landowners that inherit farmland and keep the land in agricultural production.
  • Provide cost efficient, credit opportunities to assist producers in balancing their operational needs.
  • Fight increases in capital gains tax.

Strengthening the Dairy Industry

  • Support for national pricing structure reform which provides producers with price stability and adequacy.
  • Support the concepts of a pricing system that takes into account regional differences in milk pricing in an effort to secure more equitable Class I pricing for dairy farm families in New York.
  • Support for import standard reciprocity, particularly in regards to quality and promotion program assessments.
  • Actively monitor the EPA’s Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and emerging air emissions regulations to ensure that any developed regulations by the EPA do not negatively impact New York farms.
  • Adopt California non-fat solid standards in drinking milk.

A Strong Agricultural Labor Force

  • Immediate passage of federal legislation and/or regulatory changes to reform the H2a program and/or creation of a guest worker program which provide an effective, efficient, and cost effective means of securing seasonal and year-around workers.
  • End abusive practices by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency and U.S. Border Patrol agents towards farm employees by a prohibition on the use of racial profiling.
  • Prohibit DHS or ICE from removing possible undocumented workers from farms if such removal would produce immediate crop loss or prevent harvesting, or in the case of dairy farms, jeopardize the health of dairy animals.

Energy and the Environment

  • Ensure any air quality and/or climate change legislation and regulations hold agriculture production practices harmless.
  • Support legislation and/or regulations that include adequate offset opportunities for carbon trading for New York agriculture.
  • Oppose efforts to broaden the definition of navigable waters.
  • Ensure timely access to critical farm crop protectants.