Helming bill to establish small farm disaster grant program makes it through committee

Senator Pam Helming says a bill she sponsors to establish a small farm disaster recovery grant program has advanced through the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture with unanimous support.

The proposed legislation would provide financial relief to small farms that have been affected by natural disasters.

The Committee approved the bill and it will now be sent to the Finance Committee. This bill is sponsored by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara and is in the Assembly’s Committee on Agriculture.

“Flash flooding and other natural disasters have hit the Wayne-Finger Lakes Region and many other parts of our state in recent years. These are perfect examples of why we need this legislation. When disaster strikes, our communities are damaged and our farmers are severely impacted. To get back on their feet, our small farmers need assistance and this legislation would offer just that. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting this legislation in committee and I look forward to working with them to continue moving this legislation ahead,” Senator Helming said.

The legislation (S.271) establishes a small farm disaster recovery grant program that would be administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Empire State Development Corporation. The program would provide financial relief to small farms that have been affected by natural disasters with grant awards of up to $10,000. The bill defines small farms as a farm that sells produce and has annual sales of $100,000 or less.

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