While the focus has been on the partial federal government shut down, another important piece of legislation, the federal Farm Bill, has also expired. New York’s lead lobbyist for farmers is in Washington meeting with congressional representatives and their staffs trying to figure out what to do next.
A coalition of environmental groups is suing the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation over dairy farm regulations intended to boost milk production. The New York Farm Bureau says the groups are going too far.
The New York Farm Bureau has released its state priorities for this year. During a conference call, officials outlined their agricultural policy goals.
Officials with New York’s farm advocacy organization said their focus this year is strengthening the economy and future of farms and growers. Farm Bureau President Dean Norton noted that the average age of a New York farmer is 56. According to a 2007 Ag census, about 19-hundred farm operators are under the age of 35, while over 33-hundred are over age 75.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency has proposed changing how they deal with navigable waters across the country under the Clean Water Act. But the New York Farm Bureau is raising red flags saying the agency is attempting to expand their authority without appropriate public input.
Farm workers and Religious Leaders joined with Community and Civil Rights Advocates to urge state lawmakers in Albany to enact the Farm Workers Fair Labor Practices Act - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.