Borrello Introduces Sweeping Farm Proposal | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

State Senator George Borrello, R-Sunset Bay, speaks in the Senate on Agriculture earlier this week.

State Senator George Borrello, R-Sunset Bay, has proposed a comprehensive package of measures to tackle food insecurity, help farms and reduce poverty.

The Food Insecurity, Agriculture Resilience and Rural Poverty Act in New York (p.5941) amends the State Agriculture and Markets Act, the State Taxes Act, the Estates, Powers and Trusts Act, the State Labor Law, the State Law on the public health and the Workers Compensation Act in relation to the establishment of the NY Food Insecurity, Farm Resiliency and Rural Poverty Initiative.

Borrello suggests establishing the New York Office on Food Insecurity, Agriculture Resilience, and Rural Poverty in the Department of Agriculture and Markets to manage a range of grants, hiring aid programs, purchase aid programs, tax credits, tax exemptions and reimbursements for farmers and food banks, pantries and non-profit organizations. Borrello’s bill would also set up the New York Meat, Fiber, and Dairy Study Commission to study challenges and make recommendations.

“It is impossible for us to underestimate the impact agriculture has on the New York state economy.” Borrello said Tuesday in the Senate in support of a resolution declaring a farming week in New York. “Right now in the face of this pandemic, we understand how important agriculture is to New York and our food security. When people think of New York State, they think of the skyscrapers of New York City, but New York State is really an agricultural state. We have more than 33,000 farms in New York State and I am proud that more than one in ten of them are in my district, the most rural and agricultural part of New York State, the 57th Senate District. “

The program would cost the state $ 35.7 million in the first year. Annual funding would be $ 19.7 million, while in the state of emergency, $ 20 million would be allocated for desiccants.

That money would go towards a permanent farming purchasing aid program, a commercial meat and dairy processing incentive program, a personal service cost support program, a farmer start-up program, an agricultural infrastructure and equipment grant program, a commercial real estate grant and Warehousing Issued program, a cold storage equipment grant program, a cold warehouse transportation grant program, and a transportation fuel reimbursement program.

Changes to the tax law would create tax credit for farm donations to pantries, changes to the law on estates, powers and trusts to add value to the livestock exemption, which benefits farms while maintaining the current principles of inheritance and land transfer maintains.

Borrello said the state’s COVID-19 response highlighted several ways in which the relationship between New York state agriculture and its food banks could be improved for the benefit of both those in need and New York farmers. He would like help in preventing agricultural food waste and other problems associated with low demand for agricultural products. Access to refrigeration equipment and the purchase and maintenance of transportation to provide food to those most in need.

“Last fall, when I first became a member of the Agriculture Committee, I covered over 3,000 miles across New York State.” Said Borrello. “Agriculture pervades every part of this state from Long Island to the Hudson Valley to the Mohawk Valley and North County to western New York, which is where I come from. Agriculture is a critical part of New York State’s economy and culture. It’s incredibly resilient and I am proud to stand here as the grandson of two Concord winemakers and say that the tradition continues here in New York state and we must continue to ensure that New York agriculture is resilient for our future. Not just for our farmers, not just for the families they support, but for each and every New Yorker, New York has a wonderfully resilient and enduring farming community. “

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