Gillibrand, New York’s first member of the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly four decades, is fighting to include measures that can strengthen specialty crop insurance, improve access to credit for struggling farmers, invest in rural broadband, and connect locally grown, farm-fresh produce with communities that need it, as well as reform dairy pricing and strengthen income for dairy farmers.
“New York is home to America’s hardest working farm families and the world’s finest locally grown produce,” Gillibrand said. “But today, the small businesses that make New York’s agriculture industry are trying to get ahead in a system that is stacked against them. Over the last several years, I’ve met with farmers in communities all across New York, hearing their ideas and concerns. These priorities are steps we must take to give our farms the chance they need to thrive, strengthen our economy, and help our families lead healthier lives.”
As of 2010, New York State is home to more than 36,000 farms that stretch across nearly 7 million acres of land — roughly one-fourth of New York State. The industry generates upwards of $4.5 billion for the state’s economy each year, producing some of the state’s top exports, from milk, cheese and yogurt to apples, grapes and other fruits and vegetables, and a Greek yogurt industry that is growing stronger every day.
In the North Country, there were nearly 4,300 farms and more than 1 million acres of farmland in 2010.