Grassroots the voice of new york agriculture


february 2017

Executive Budget a Good Start for Farmers

Governor Cuomo?s State of State Message Reveals Water Quality Funding

By M. Kelly Young Governor Andrew Cuomo publicly released the details of his $152.3 billion Executive Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2017-18 on Tuesday, Jan. 17, the statutory deadline, during a late night press conference. This was an unusual year, with the Governor delivering six separate State of the State addresses in regions across the state to highlight particular aspects of his budget, but he shared no details until just under the wire. A number of key animal health and diagnostic programs were fully funded by the Governor in his Department of Agriculture and Markets budget, along with Farm to School and Farmers Market EBT programs. However, many of the agricultural promotion and research line items that are traditionally added in by the legislature were not included by the Governor, as was anticipated. Even with those deficiencies, this department budget proposal of $13 million was still a good start for New York agriculture. New York Farm Bureau and our partners will work hard in the coming months to ensure the remaining funding lines are restored and included in the final budget. The Governor again proposed a $300 million Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), which included level funding for important agricultural lines like Soil and Water Conservation Districts ($9 million), Integrated Pest Management ($1 million), Farmland Protection ($20 million), Agricultural Non-Point Source Continued on page 24

NYFB Wins Big at AFBF Annual Convention

By Steve Ammerman New York Farm Bureau received several honored recognitions at the 2017 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show in Phoenix, AZ, last month. In addition, the delegation was successful in establishing new public policy positions for the organization at the national level. AFBF awarded New York Farm Bureau with the New Horizon Award in its membership category. The award, recognizing innovative programming, honored NYFB for its ?Keep the Barn Doors Open? public relations campaign that led the way in pushing back against a $15 minimum wage in New York State. In addition, NYFB received all six Awards of Excellence that demonstrate outstanding achievements in six program areas: Education and Outreach; Leadership Development; Member Benefits; Membership Initiatives; Policy Development and Implementation; and Public Relations and Communications. ?The AFBF Annual Convention highlighted our organization?s strong programming, public policy work and most importantly, the efforts of our members who are working hard on the farm and off to improve agriculture for fellow farmers across the state,? said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President. Also during the opening general session of the convention, Judi Whittaker of Broome County Farm Bureau, accepted the first ever Founders Award on behalf of James Quinn. More than a century Continued on page 23 Top: The NYFB delegation attended opening session together at AFBF in Phoenix. Bottom: NYFB President David Fisher and Judi Whittaker of Broome County Farm Bureau accept the first ever AFBF Founders Award from AFBF President Zippy Duvall. The Founders Award went to James Quinn, who was the first Farm Bureau county President in the country more than a century ago in Broome County where NYFB was started.

AFBF Supports NYFB Concerns

NYFB Resolutions Addressed or Adopted at 2017 AFBF Annual Convention ? Strengthening Farm Bureau?s policy on the inclusion of whole milk in public meals schools again. ? Supporting legislation to require all manufacturers to make available diagnostic and repair information for all digital electronic parts and machines. ? Changes to the Milk Margin Protection program that provide more flexibility and better coverage. ? Continuing to support working lands conservation programs over preservation programs. ? Allowing NRCS to send nonadverse technical decisions through regular mail, rather than certified mail.

Regional Meetings Scheduled Page 13 NYFB Sets Priority to Change Employee Allowances Page 2

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