Agriculture Advocates Discuss New York State Priority Issues
By Pat Bradley
Albany, NY – The New York Farm Bureau is the largest farmer advocacy organization in the state. Following the release of Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget, President Dean Norton and other officials met to discuss agricultural issues and how they want state government to address their priorities. Leading the list, according to Dean Norton, is mandate relief. On budget issues, Farm Bureau Communications Director Matt Nelligan says Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget is overall one of the most positive budget starts in some time. The Farm Bureau supports hydraulic fracturing and is calling on New York State to speed up the process allowing drilling in both the Marcellus and Utica shale beds. Farm Bureau Deputy Director of Public Policy Jeff Williams says the new industry is critical to New York State's rural economy. The Farm Bureau also places a priority on capitalizing on the local food movement and developing a stronger distribution channel between upstate agricultural products and consumers in the New York City markets.