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

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... more

New York Farm Bureau releases 2020 legislative priorities

New York Farm Bureau releases 2020 legislative priorities
New York Farm Bureau released its 2020 state legislative priorities during a press call today that look to address important budget and economic needs of its farmer members who make up the diverse agricultural community in New York. NYFB President David Fisher and Jeff Williams, NYFB Public Policy Director, spoke with reporters during the media call. They stressed that last... more

Governor Cuomo outlines full-plan for spending in 2020 (video)

Governor Cuomo outlines full-plan for spending in 2020
Governor Andrew Cuomo says his proposals outline a bold vision for New York as it battles with some of the toughest economic pressures the state has faced in years. The 2020 budget plan features a $33 billion five-year plan to combat climate change, including a new plan to streamline government bureaucracy to deliver renewable energy projects faster; a $25 billion expansion of... more

Phelps farmers argue their herd was killed off by DOT along Thruway

Phelps farmers argue their herd was killed off by DOT along Thruway
On Monday a trial will begin for a case involving cows in Ontario County. John and Jan Fredericks will be in court, finally getting the opportunity to prove what they believed happened over a 15 year period at their farm alongside the New York State Thruway. “We’re looking forward to the Fredericks finally getting their day in court,” said the... more

Agricultural District enrollment going on in Wayne County

Agricultural District enrollment going on in Wayne County
Wayne County is accepting landowner applications for including new parcels of viable agricultural land in the existing certified Agricultural District, according to the Finger Lakes Times. The Board of Supervisors established the annual Agricultural District Open Review Period from January 1st to January 31st. The next review of proposed properties is slated for 2024. For more information call (315) 946-5919... more

Farmers face uncertain, difficult times in Finger Lakes

Farmers face uncertain, difficult times in Finger Lakes
It’s not easy being a farmer. Between weather, fluctuating prices for produced goods that sometimes leave farms at a loss, and uncertainty in trade – it’s difficult to manage. Patrick O’Hara, a licensed clinical social worker has spent the latter part of his career serving as a case manager for the New York Center of Agricultural Medicine and Health, told... more

Why did the Potato Growers sell Empire Farm Days?

Why did the Potato Growers sell Empire Farm Days?
The Empire State Potato Growers made headlines a couple weeks ago when they announced a sale. That sale was of the Empire Farm Days show, which is held annually at Lott Farms in Seneca Falls. Lee Newspapers Inc., publishers of Country Folks weekly farm newspaper and several other publications purchased the festival. Jamie Meyer, the executive director of the organization... more

Despite lawsuit to stop farm labor rights law, changes will take hold on Wednesday

Despite lawsuit to stop farm labor rights law, changes will take hold on Wednesday
A lawsuit is coming as part of an effort to stop a farm labor rights law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2019. The Auburn Citizen reports that a legal challenge is being brought by a coalition of farm groups including the Northeast Dairy Producers Association and New York State Vegetable Growers Association, and aims to stall the legislation set... more

Branchport resident named executive director of NYAAC

Branchport resident named executive director of NYAAC
A Yates County resident is taking the lead with a statewide agency, giving the Finger Lakes more leadership energy on a variety fo statewide issues. Eileen Jensen has been appointed Executive Director of the New York Animal Agriculture Coalition. She previously served as director of promotion and outreach; and graduated from Penn Yan Academy. “I live in Branchport and my... more

Waterloo applies for intervenor funds for solar farm review

Waterloo applies for intervenor funds for solar farm review
Trelina Solar Energy Center LLC has made $28,000 available to parties that want to intervene in the Article 10 Preliminary Scoping Statement process for the company’s proposed 80 megawatt solar farm in the west end of the town of Waterloo. The town has applied for the entire amount. The New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment... more

Marijuana legalization could help struggling farms in rural, Upstate NY

Marijuana legalization could help struggling farms in rural, Upstate NY
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to begin the new year pushing for the legalization of recreational marijuana, which could be good news for farmers. The growing number of vaping-related lung illnesses, however, could complicate the debate. Sen. Jen Metzger, the chair of the New York State Senate Agricultural Committee, says legalizing marijuana could help small rural farms in New York... more

Farmers and business owners push for regulations in hemp industry

Farmers and business owners push for regulations in hemp industry
Farmers and business owners are pushing for regulations in the growing hemp industry. New York Hemp Lab held a panel at the University of Rochester on Saturday. The focus of the discussion was the lack of standards for hemp products, testing, and oversight facing new businesses. “Each step of the supply chain there are a multitude of complications that make... more

Weather, debt, milk prices all factors in farmer’s mental health

Weather, debt, milk prices all factors in farmer’s mental health
The numbers show Wyoming County has the highest suicide rate among farmers in the Finger Lakes and Western New York regions. The rural county has the 8th highest suicide rate in the state, and nationally, the trend shows farmers have a suicide rate that’s 3.5 percent higher than the general population. Senator Charles Schumer said there isn’t enough data that... more

Sen. Schumer calls for action as suicide rates spike among farmers

Reported suicide spiking among farmers, Sen. Schumer calls for action
Farmer Patrick McCormick of Robbiehill Family Dairy says the suicide crisis on farms has hit upstate New York the hardest and placed a dark cloud, especially on Wyoming County. “I know farmers not too far from here. Two of them this past year that have committed suicide,” said McCormick. McCormick says uncertainty in crop yields and the declining price of... more
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