Magee: Agriculture Budget Overall Very Good

Spending Plan Ensures Critical Programs Remain Viable

(Town of Nelson, NY – April 2012) Assembly Agriculture Committee Chairman Bill Magee (D-Nelson) announces an agriculture budget agreement with Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Patty Ritchie to restore and secure important agriculture programs throughout the state of New York.

While the executive proposal did restore almost all agriculture programs at last year’s funding, it did exclude and decrease funding to crucial programs. The Maple Producers Association was left out of the executive proposal, and both houses were able to allocate funding for $100,000. The Tractor Rollover Protection (ROPS) was also omitted from the executive’s proposal, but the Legislature was able to restore funding for $100,000.

“There was just no way these programs were going to be completely left out of the budget,” Magee said. “The ROPS program helps to ensure the safety of farmers and saves lives.”

The executive’s proposal decreased the New York Farm Viability Institute’s funding from $1.2 million to only $400,000.

“We were able to include an additional $821,000 for New York Farm Viability, which fully restores them to $1.2 million,” Magee said. “The New York Farm Viability Institute helps to ensure the economic strength and vitality of NY’s farms, and it’s important that we maintain their funding. I am pleased to say that we were able to provide an additional $100,000 to FarmNet.”

According to Magee, this past summer and fall were extremely hard on farms across the state due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. FarmNet has been instrumental in helping and assisting the farms in need that were affected, and additional funds will help recovery-related expenses.

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