, pub-2480664471547226, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

Home » » Tague Announces Several Initiatives

Tague Announces Several Initiatives

Written By Editor on 1/26/21 | 1/26/21

Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I-Schoharie) was joined by Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay (R,C,I-Pulaski), other members of the Assembly Republican Conference and industry professionals as they announced the “Food Insecurity, Farm Resiliency and Rural Poverty Initiative” to assist farmers and those in the agriculture industry during the pandemic. The initiative would connect farmers with excess product to food banks and also provide farmers with grants and regulatory relief to help them expand and sustain their operations. 


This legislative package was created after Tague spent two years leading his colleagues in the Assembly on an annual farm tour in which legislators would speak with farmers and people in agri-business personally to hear their concerns about the agricultural industry in New York and what can be done to make it easier to be successful as an agricultural entrepreneur in the state.


“This comprehensive package of legislation is the product of farmers, agricultural entrepreneurs, and members of nonprofit and community organizations coming together to connect the dots between food banks and our agricultural industry to assist farmers who have struggled for decades in our state and bolster our state’s food security by providing families with nutritious food grown here in New York,” said Tague. “If we have no farms, we have no food, and this proposal will assure that our state has plenty of both in our state for generations to come. As a former farmer myself, I am hopeful we can pass this legislative package for the sake of our small farmers who have had it harder than ever this year, and for families who have struggled to keep food on the table during hard times.”

The initiative’s largest proposal, the Permanent Agricultural Purchasing Assistance Program, would allocate $10 million annually between New York’s 10 regional food banks to allow them to purchase meat, dairy and produce from New York farmers, while an additional dry appropriation account of $20 million will be created within the Aid to Localities budget to allow program expansion in the case of statewide emergencies. The program will reduce the impact of unprofitable waste on agriculture in New York, while also providing food banks with an increased amount of fresh meat, dairy, and produce. Food banks will receive a one-time $6 million grant, as well as an annual $500,000 grant, to develop larger storage facilities and expand upon cold storage capabilities within food banks. 

The legislative package also addresses the lack of meat and dairy processing facilities in New York by creating the Commercial Meat and Dairy Processing Incentive Program, which will support efforts by the state to purchase land and build processing facilities that would be used by private meat and or dairy processors. The proposal would create a “Blue Ribbon Commission” that will examine the business and regulatory environment of New York in relation to how it affects the viability of meat and dairy processing in the state and then give recommendations on how we could make it more hospitable for processors.

The Food Insecurity, Farm Resiliency, and Rural Poverty Initiative will also help new farmers start up their operations by restoring the New Farmers Grant Program, while also help established farms by providing grants of up to $50,000 to farmers who have been in business for over 10 years through a $5 million program that could be used to improve their infrastructure or purchase equipment.

“From the very start of this pandemic, Chris Tague and members of the Assembly Minority Conference fought diligently to protect farmers and New York’s agricultural industry,” said Barclay. “It is going to take a prolonged, comprehensive effort to help family farms fully recover from the devastating impacts of COVID-19. Establishing stronger connections between farms and food banks while also providing state investments allowing them to expand will benefit all stakeholders and communities across New York.”

“As someone who knows what it’s like to be a farmer in this state, I am proud to support this comprehensive package of legislation that helps both farmers and families throughout New York,” said Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia), who is a member of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture. “Operating a farm in New York’s inhospitable business and regulatory environment has always been challenging, and I’m hopeful this initiative will lead New York agriculture into a brighter future while bolstering food security for all.”

  “We understand the struggles our agricultural industry is facing in New York State,” said Assemblyman Brian Miller (R,I,C-New Hartford). “This plan outlines long range help for farmers and bridges the gap between farm-to-table for everyone who needs and wants nutritious, local foods. Our plan also ensures our farms and local food industries have a sustainable future.”

  “My colleagues and I are happy to expand and prioritize support to our farmers and food producers who are keystones to our economic recovery following the pandemic,” said Assemblyman Christopher S. Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats), who is a member of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture. “New York must go all in with support and measures to help the agricultural industry recover quickly. I am proud, in particular, of our proposals to help meat and dairy producers through our long-term initiative which would authorize the state to increase food processing capacity and purchase goods from New York farmers and food producers to support our food banks, pantries and communities.”

Remember to Subscribe!
Subscription Options
Share this article :
Like the Post? Do share with your Friends.


Post a Comment