A vineyard with blue sky and a lake behind.
July 29, 2022
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Albany, NY

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Announces Next Stops on the Farm Bill Listening Tour

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Announces Next Stops on the Farm Bill Listening Tour
Next Sessions to Take Place in the Hudson Valley on August 1, Western New York on August 2, Central New York on August 3, North Country on August 19, Finger Lakes on August 26, and New York City on August 30

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced the next stops on the Department’s Farm Bill Listening Tour. The Farm Bill Listening Tour provides an opportunity to engage with and hear from constituents about the importance of the 2023 Farm Bill to New York State. Kicking off the listening session tour on July 18, Governor Kathy Hochul visited Bruno Farm in Suffolk County and held a roundtable session to hear from farmers and industry stakeholders about their successes and concerns.

The next Farm Bill listening session will take place in the Hudson Valley region at SUNY New Paltz in Ulster County on Monday, August 1 at 1 p.m.  Additional sessions will take place in Western New York on August 2, Central New York on August 3, the North Country on August 19, the Finger Lakes on August 26, and New York City on August 30.

Commissioner Ball said, “The Farm Bill has a tremendous impact on all sectors of our agricultural community here in New York State, and we want to hear from our partners and stakeholders about what is important to them. As we prepare to advocate for our farmers during this upcoming Farm Bill season, we take the comments we hear very seriously and will use them to inform our policy priorities. I encourage everyone to join us at one of the upcoming sessions as we travel across the state to hear from you.”

The following sessions are scheduled:

Hudson Valley: Monday, August 1, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

  • SUNY New Paltz
  • Student Union building, Room 401
  • 1 Hawk Drive
  • New Paltz, NY
  • Parking is available in the Rt. 32 or Rt. 32 Parking Extension lots. (across the street from the main entrance)
  • View a map of the campus here

Western New York:  Tuesday, August 2, 2022, 2:00 p.m.

  • SUNY Buffalo
  • 100 Allen Hall, South Campus 
  • 3485 Main Street
  • Buffalo, NY 14214
  • Parking for 100 Allen Hall is available in the Allen Lot.
  • View a map of the campus here

Central New York: Wednesday, August 3, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

  • New York State Fairgrounds
  • Toyota Coliseum building
  • 581 State Fair Boulevard
  • Syracuse, NY
  • Enter at Gate 2

North Country: Friday, August 19, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

  • Miner Institute
  • Joseph C. Burke Education and Research Center
  • 586 Ridge Road
  • Chazy, New York

Finger Lakes: Friday, August 26, 2022

  • Please save the date.  A location and time will be announced shortly.

New York City: Tuesday, August 30, 2022

  • Please save the date.  A location and time will be announced shortly.

The Farm Bill listening sessions are hosted by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, in coordination with the New York State Department of Health (DOH), Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), and the State Education Department (SED). Feedback gathered during the tour will be provided to Governor Hochul to help develop New York State’s Farm Bill priorities for critical funding and policy changes in the areas of agriculture, nutrition, and the environment.

Participants can RSVP for sessions by emailing [email protected]  Please include name, affiliation, and which listening session is being attended (ie. Hudson Valley, Central New York, etc.). Details for the Finger Lakes and New York City sessions will be announced soon.

Many of the listening sessions will be livestreamed on Facebook. Please follow the Department’s Facebook page at facebook.com/nyagandmarkets for additional information and details. 

In addition to receiving public comment in person at the listening sessions, the Department is encouraging written comment to be submitted. The deadline to submit written comment is December 19, 2022.

The Farm Bill is an omnibus, multi-year law that governs an array of agricultural and food programs. The most recent Farm Bill, the Agricultural Act of 2018, expires at the beginning of 2023. 

With many important programs being funded by the Farm Bill, the listening sessions will help shape the agricultural policies and programs New York State will support in the 2023 Farm Bill. Key areas impacted by the Farm Bill and to be discussed during the listening sessions include commodity support, conservation, trade and international food aid, nutrition assistance, farm credit, rural development, research and extension activities, forestry, energy, horticulture, crop insurance, livestock, agriculture and food defense, and historically underserved producers.

The nutrition title, which includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), comprises approximately 75-80 percent of the total amount of funding provided through the Farm Bill, while the remaining 20-25 percent in funding supports agricultural production and conservation programs.

Nearly 3 million, or 1 in 7, New Yorkers participate in the SNAP program, receiving approximately $4.8 billion in SNAP benefits. Over one million SNAP recipients are children under the age of 18 and nearly 620,000 SNAP recipients are age 60 or older.

Agriculture is a major driver of the New York State economy and just over a quarter of New York State’s land mass, or 7 million acres, is dedicated to farmland. Nearly 33,000 family farms produce some of the world’s best food with the State ranking in the top 10 in 30 different commodities that support its communities. New York is the first largest producer of cottage cheese, sour cream, and yogurt; and ranks second in maple syrup, apples, and cabbage; and third in grapes. It also ranks fifth in green peas, squash, and milk production, which is the largest segment of the state’s agricultural sector. Nearly 3,500 dairy farmers produce 15.5 billion pounds of milk annually in New York State.