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August 5, 2020 - 1:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture, farmers, covid-19, USDA.

Press release:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced it will authorize Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) to extend deadlines for premium and administrative fee payments, defer the resulting interest accrual and allow other flexibilities to help farmers, ranchers, and insurance providers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“USDA recognizes farmers and ranchers have been severely affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic this year and to help ease the burden on these folks, we are continuing to extend flexibility for producers,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “The flexibilities announced today support health and safety while also ensuring the Federal crop insurance program continues to serve as a vital risk management tool.”

Background:

Specifically, USDA is authorizing AIPs to provide policyholders additional time to pay premium and administrative fees and to waive accrual of interest to the earlier of 60 days after their scheduled payment due date or the termination date on policies with premium billing dates between August 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020. In addition, USDA is authorizing AIPs to provide up to an additional 60 days for policyholders to make payment and waive additional interest for Written Payment Agreements due between Aug. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2020.

RMA is authorizing additional flexibilities due to coronavirus while continuing to support producers, working through AIPs to deliver services, including processing policies, claims and agreements. RMA staff are working with AIPs and other customers by phone, mail and electronically to continue supporting crop insurance coverage for producers. Farmers with crop insurance questions or needs should continue to contact their insurance agents about conducting business remotely (by telephone or email). More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private insurance agents. A list of insurance agents is available online using the RMA Agent Locator. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at rma.usda.gov.

July 10, 2020 - 1:28pm

Press release:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today (July 10) announced approximately $4 million in available funding to develop partnerships to leverage USDA and local, state, and private sector resources to address challenges for limited resource, socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers, and communities.

The program is administered by the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE).

The Centers of Community Prosperity initiative was launched by Secretary Sonny Perdue in 2019 to increase the capacity of rural and underserved communities through extensive collaboration, tailored technical assistance, and a community’s designation as a Community of Faith and Opportunity.

“This initiative is designed to assist persistent poverty communities with limited resource, socially disadvantaged, and veteran farmers and ranchers to strategically address community challenges,” said Mike Beatty, director of the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement. “We hope to assist in fostering hope and opportunity, wealth creation, and asset building for communities across the country.”

Community-based and nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and tribal entities may compete for Community Prosperity funding on projects that provide outreach, education and training in agriculture, conservation, agribusiness, and forestry, with a focus on economic and workforce development, innovation and technology, and quality of life through food and agriculture.

The deadline for applications is Aug. 24. See the request for applications for full details.

USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement develops and maintains partnerships focused on solutions to challenges facing rural and underserved communities in the United States, connecting those communities to the education, tools and resources available to them through USDA programs and initiatives. Learn more at www.usda.gov/partnerships.

July 9, 2020 - 2:01pm

Press release:

Today, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced an initial list of additional commodities that have been added to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), and that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made other adjustments to the program based on comments received from agricultural producers and organizations and review of market data.

Producers will be able to submit applications that include these commodities on Monday, July 13. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is accepting through Aug. 28 applications for CFAP, which helps offset price declines and additional marketing costs because of the coronavirus pandemic. USDA expects additional eligible commodities to be announced in the coming weeks. 

“When we announced this program earlier this year, we asked for public input and received a good response," Secretary Perdue said. "After reviewing the comments received and analyzing our USDA Market News data, we are adding new commodities, as well as making updates to the program for existing eligible commodities.

"This is an example of government working for the people – we asked for input and we updated the program based on the comments we received.”

USDA collected comments and supporting data for consideration of additional commodities through June 22.

Changes to CFAP include:

  • Adding the following commodities: alfalfa sprouts, anise, arugula, basil, bean sprouts, beets, blackberries, Brussels sprouts, celeriac (celery root), chives, cilantro, coconuts, collard greens, dandelion greens, greens (others not listed separately), guava, kale greens, lettuce – including Boston, green leaf, Lolla Rossa, oak leaf green, oak leaf red and red leaf – marjoram, mint, mustard, okra, oregano, parsnips, passion fruit, peas (green), pineapple, pistachios, radicchio, rosemary, sage, savory, sorrel, fresh sugarcane, Swiss chard, thyme and turnip top greens.
  • Expanding for seven currently eligible commodities – apples, blueberries, garlic, potatoes, raspberries, tangerines and taro – CARES Act funding for sales losses because USDA found these commodities had a 5 percent or greater price decline between mid-January and mid-April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, these commodities were only eligible for marketing adjustments.
  • Determining that peaches and rhubarb no longer qualify for payment under the CARES Act sales loss category.
  • Correcting payment rates for apples, artichokes, asparagus, blueberries, cantaloupes, cucumbers, garlic, kiwifruit, mushrooms, papaya, peaches, potatoes, raspberries, rhubarb, tangerines and taro.

Additional details can be found in the Federal Register in the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) and Final Rule Correction and at www.farmers.gov/cfap.

Producers have several options for applying to the CFAP program:
  • Using an online portal, accessible at farmers.gov/cfap, allows producers with secure USDA login credentials—known as eAuthentication—to certify eligible commodities online, digitally sign applications and submit directly to the local USDA Service Center. New commodities will be available in the system on July 13.
  • Completing the application form using our CFAP Application Generator and Payment Calculator found at farmers.gov/cfap. This Excel workbook allows customers to input information specific to their operation to determine estimated payments and populate the application form, which can be printed, then signed and submitted to their local USDA Service Center. An updated version with the new commodities will be available on the website on July 13.
  • Downloading the AD-3114 application form from farmers.gov/cfap and manually completing the form to submit to the local USDA Service Center by mail, electronically or by hand delivery to an office drop box. In some limited cases, the office may be open for in-person business by appointment. Visit farmers.gov/coronavirus/service-center-status to check the status of your local office.

USDA Service Centers can also work with producers to complete and securely transmit digitally signed applications through two commercially available tools: Box and OneSpan. Producers who are interested in digitally signing their applications should notify their local service centers when calling to discuss the CFAP application process. You can learn more about these solutions at farmers.gov/mydocs.

Getting Help from FSA

New customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer general assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center.

All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap. For existing FSA customers, these documents are likely already on file. 

All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment.

Service Centers that are open for appointments will prescreen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors may also be required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in office, by phone and using online tools.

More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

June 4, 2020 - 12:29pm

Press release:

WASHINGTON, D.C.: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has already approved more than $545 million in payments to producers who have applied for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

FSA began taking applications May 26, and the agency has received over 86,000 applications for this important relief program.

In the first six days of the application period, FSA has already made payments to more than 35,000 producers. Out of the gate, the top five states for CFAP payments are Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and South Dakota. USDA has released data on application progress and program payments and will release further updates each Monday at 2 p.m. ET. The report can be viewed here.

FSA will accept applications through Aug. 28. Through CFAP, USDA is making available $16 billion in financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a 5-percent-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities.

In order to do this, producers will receive 80 percent of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at a later date nationwide, as funds remain available.

Getting Help from FSA

New customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call (877) 508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer general assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center.

Producers can download the CFAP application and other eligibility forms on this website. Also, on that webpage, producers can find a payment calculator to help producers identify sales and inventory records needed to apply and calculate potential payments.

Producers self-certify their records when applying for CFAP and that documentation is not submitted with the application. However, producers may be asked for their documentation to support the certification of eligible commodities, so producers should retain the information used to complete their application.

Those who use the online calculator tool will be able to print a pre-filled CFAP application, sign it, and submit it to your local FSA office either electronically or via hand delivery through an office drop box. Please contact your local office to determine the preferred delivery method for your local office. Team members at FSA county offices will be able to answer detailed questions and help producers apply quickly and efficiently through phone and online tools. Find contact information for your local office at farmers.gov/cfap.

Policy Clarifications

FSA has been working with stakeholder groups to provide further clarification to producers on the CFAP program. For example, the agency has published a matrix of common marketing contracts that impact eligibility for non-specialty crops and has provided a table that crosswalks common livestock terms to CFAP cattle categories. Updated information can be found in the frequently asked questions section of the CFAP website.

More Information

USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only; call (877) 508-8364. Field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone and using online tools whenever possible.

All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found here.

March 24, 2020 - 12:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in National Ag Day, business, agriculture, farmers, pandemic.

Press release:

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement today (March 24) regarding National Agriculture Day and President Donald J. Trump’s Proclamation recognizing the importance of America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters and producers:

“Our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers in America are feeding and clothing the world," Secretary Perdue said. "Now more than ever it’s important that the American people not forget that. Our farmers are resilient, and during these uncertain times they are still working, day in and day out, to produce what’s needed for our growing population.

"Today, on National Ag Day, I challenge the American public to keep our farmers, ranchers and producers on their minds – for all their work to provide us a safe, healthy and abundant food supply. We owe them a debt of gratitude.”

View U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue's brief speech about today:

February 10, 2020 - 4:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in farmers, agriculture, business, disaster area.

Information from press releases.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated 43 New York counties, including Genesee County, as primary natural disaster areas.

This designation allows the Farm Service agencies in affected states to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts.

The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is Sept. 29.

Excessive Rain

Producers in Albany, Allegany, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Livingston, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Washington, Wyoming, and Yates counties, who suffered losses due to excessive rain that has occurred since April 1, 2019, are eligible to apply for emergency loans.

Producers in the contiguous New York counties of Broome, Cattaraugus, Cortland, Dutchess, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Orange, St. Lawrence, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, and Wayne, along with Berkshire County, Mass.; Bradford, Erie, McKean, Pike, Potter, Susquehanna, Tioga, Warren, and Wayne counties in Pennsylvania; and Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Grand Isle, and Rutland counties in Vermont, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.

"The farmers in Genesee County were certainly affected by excessive moisture in the spring," according to Molly Preston, the GC executive director of the local Farm Service Agency, which has an office on Liberty Street in Batavia.

"However, many of the farmers were able to get crops planted, even if it was a bit later than usual. 'The cows need to be fed' was the response from many farmers when asked if they were able to get all their crops in.

"In Genesee County there were approximately 12,500 acres reported as prevented (from being) planted. There are roughly 150,000 acres reported (as planted) annually in Genesee County.

The main crops affected locally were corn and soybeans, but some vegetable crops were also affected. In addition, some new seeded forages were delayed from being planted during the normal planting period, Preston says.

Excessive Rain, Flash Flooding, and Flooding

Producers in Cattaraugus, Jefferson, Lewis, and Madison counties, who suffered losses due to excessive rain, flash flooding, and flooding that has occurred since April 15, 2019, are eligible to apply for emergency loans.

Producers in the contiguous New York counties of Alleghany, Chautauqua, Chenango, Cortland, Erie, Herkimer, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Otsego, St. Lawrence, and Wyoming, along with McKean and Warren counties in Pennsylvania, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.

FSA will review the loan applications based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

FSA has a variety of additional programs to help farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster. FSA programs that do not require a disaster declaration include: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish ProgramEmergency Conservation ProgramLivestock Forage Disaster ProgramLivestock Indemnity Program;Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; and the Tree Assistance Program.

Farmers may contact their local USDA service center for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at farmers.gov/recover.

September 12, 2019 - 5:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, business, farmers, 2015 WOTUS rule.

New York farmers, Congressman Chris Collins and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue applaud today's announcement that the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers have agreed to rescind the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

From the New York Farm Bureau:

Repeal of the 2015 Waters of the United States rule is a victory for clean water and clear rules, according to New York Farm Bureau.

“Farmers share the goal of protecting the nation’s water, but the 2015 Waters of the United States rule was unreasonable and unworkable,” said New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher.

“It made protecting water quality and conservation efforts more difficult and created huge liabilities for farmers, especially when what waters would be regulated under the old rule could not be clearly defined. This turned farming into a guessing game on which land use required federal permits and what did not.”

The administration’s repeal announcement follows a multi-year effort by the American Farm Bureau, New York Farm Bureau and an array of allies to raise awareness of overreaching provisions of the rule.

“No regulation is perfect, and no rule can accommodate every concern, but the 2015 rule was especially egregious,” Fisher said. “We are relieved to put it behind us. We are now working to ensure a fair and reasonable substitute that protects our water and our ability to work and care for the land.”

From Congressman Chris Collins:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) praised EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s signing of the repeal of the Obama-Era Clean Water Rule, commonly known as the, “Waters of the United States.”

The signing of the repeal is part of a two-step process ordered by President Donald Trump in February 2017. This first step overturns the Obama-era regulation and reenacts rules established prior to 2015. The second step of process is for the EPA to propose a replacement rule, which is expected before the end of this year.

“This was nothing more than a giant power grab by the Obama Administration that had real and harmful consequences on America’s hardworking farmers and small business owners,” Congressman Collins said.

“This rule has serious implications for our local farmers, it allows bureaucrats to determine if small divots or puddles were considered ‘navigable waters’. President Trump made a promise to farmers across the nation and I applaud him for keeping it by repealing these outrageous regulations. &rdquo

In 2014, Congressman Collins attempted to block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from expanding federal control under the Clean Water Act by leading a letter to the EPA Administrator and the Department of Army Secretary urging them not the move forward. A majority of Congress signed on to Congressman Collins’ letter.

Congressman Collins additionally was a cosponsor of H.R. 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, which would prevent the EPA and the Army Corp of Engineers from implementing the proposed rule that would redefine “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. This legislation passed in the House but was not taken up in the Senate.

The repeal is expected to be challenged in court by a number of environmental groups.

From U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue:

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today praised the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for taking another step to fulfill President Trump’s pledge to repeal and replace the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

“Repealing the WOTUS rule is a major win for American agriculture. The extreme overreach from the past Administration had government taking the productivity of the land people had worked for years,” Secretary Perdue said.

“Farmers and ranchers are exceptional stewards of the land, taking great care to preserve it for generations to come. President Trump is making good on his promise to reduce burdensome regulations to free our producers to do what they do best – feed, fuel, and clothe this nation and the world.” 

Background:

One of President Trump’s earliest acts in office was an Executive Order directing EPA and the Army Corps to review and potentially replace the Obama Administration’s definition of the “Waters of the United States.”

The EPA and the Army Corps have repealed the 2015 Rule that impermissibly expanded the definition of “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.

The agencies upcoming action will restore the regulatory text that existed prior to the 2015 Rule and will end the inconsistent regulatory patchwork that has created uncertainty and has hindered projects from moving forward that can benefit both the environment and the economy.

The repeal remedies the legal and procedural deficiencies of the 2015 Rule, addresses the extensive litigation surrounding it, and recodifies and restores a regulatory process that has been in place for years. The new rule will provide regulatory certainty to our nation's farmers and businesses as to the definition of “Waters of the United States.”

To learn more about EPA’s WOTUS Rule, click here.

February 27, 2015 - 4:30pm
posted by Lou DiToro in batavia, genesee, farmers, Corcoran Combining.

This is the fifth in our series of profiles of the 2014 Chamber of Commerce Award winners. The awards will be presented at a dinner at the Clarion Hotel on Saturday.

Owning and operating farm equipment is costly. Just ask Genesee County farmers. In fact, it’s so costly it’s hard for farmers to justify having their own equipment. They’ll also tell you how hard it is to find qualified equipment operators. These are headaches and expenses farmers don’t need as they battle today’s economy.

But thanks to Corcoran Combining & Trucking, the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s Agricultural Business of the Year, local famers have another weapon that can help them survive. Corcoran provides planting and harvesting services designed specifically for local farmers. And it’s been doing successfully it for nearly a quarter of a century.

“Many farmers find it more profitable to hire out their field work to companies like us because of the high costs of owning and operating equipment,” says Stacy Corcoran, who co-owns Corcoran Combining with her husband, Bill. “That’s where we come in. The custom services we provide enable farmers to dramatically cut equipment costs. It works out well for both them and us.”

Delivers topflight services

Corcoran delivers topflight service that farmers can count on. With nearly 100 customers throughout a seven-county area, Corcoran works more than 40,000 acres annually. Using equipment that can cost several hundred thousand dollars each, Corcoran justifies the investment by using the equipment on multiple farms.

This kind of use spreads the cost over thousands of acres so they’re able to achieve cost-efficiencies individual farmers can’t.

“We’re try to help farmers any way we can with our services,” says Corcoran. “Agriculture is a significant industry in Western New York and we’re honored to be a part of it.”

Corcoran employs up to 15 people during its busy season, which starts in April and runs through December. Workdays during the season often run upwards of 14 hours or more. During the winter months, Corcoran washes, repairs and services their equipment, housing it in a heated facility the company built in 2014.

Started as a sideline

Bill Corcoran and his brother Tom started the business in 1992 as a sideline. They had two customers: their father and a neighbor. They never expected it to expand to what the business is now. At first, they worked their full-time jobs and did combining on the side.

But the customer list grew rapidly within a few years, prompting the purchase of a second combine and a grain truck. After a few years, the brothers split the business, with each pursuing separate custom-harvesting businesses.

Stacy and Bill expanded services in 1997. They added forage harvesting to their list of services, which involves harvesting hay and corn to make cow feed. The equipment they purchased for offering this service is also used in tillage and manure handling, which spreads the costs out. They also added a partner.

Growth eventually forced Bill to quit his full-time job and commit all his time to the business. Since then, the company has grown and prospered by helping farmers throughout seven Western New York counties: Genesee, Wyoming, Orleans, Livingston, Niagara, Erie and Monroe.

Future looks bright

The future looks bright for Corcoran Combining & Trucking. It recently purchased a new forage harvester and merger with an eye toward expanding their customer base even further. Plus, another family member may be joining them in the business in a few years.

“Corcoran Combining and Trucking is a family business,” says Corcoran. “Our sons help out whenever they can and my brother-in-law and father-in-law both have farms, so farming is in our blood.”

“But our youngest son is showing great interest in the business. He’s only 11 right now but he has great potential. It would be great to have him or any of our children join us in the business. But for now Bill and I are still going strong.”

June 8, 2009 - 7:26pm
posted by Steve Hawley in steve hawley, farm bureau, farmers, NY Farm Bureau.

 

HAWLEY STANDS OPPOSED TO FARM DEATH BILL

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia) today voted against the Farmworkers Omnibus Labor Standards Bill, dubbed the “Farm Death Bill.”  By imposing unnecessary and expensive mandates on farmers, the cost of the bill, ranging in the thousands, depending on farm size, has the potential to put farms and agribusinesses across the state out of business.

 

“My family has a long tradition of farming.  Our Western New York community’s backbone is in agriculture – both socially and financially.  This bill will be the final nail in the coffin for New York State agriculture and more people will suffer the consequences of our farms closing than just the farmers or farm workers.  The price of food will skyrocket and further hurt hard-working middle-America families that are just squeezing by right now.  This bill is a disaster for the state economy,” said Hawley, who is a former crop and hog farmer and Genesee County Farm Bureau President.

 

Hawley debated the bill on the floor, citing the fact that from April 2008 to April 2009, milk prices received by farmers dropped from $18.20 per 100 weight to $11.80; corn from $5.86 to $3.98; and wheat from $9.20 to $4.24.  These price drops signify that farmers in New York State are already struggling to make ends meet.  This is compounded by production costs, which for milk are currently around $14 per 100 weight, meaning that farmers are already losing money on their products.  Additionally, New York State has lost over 2,000 farms over the last decade.  Hawley argued that the new provisions that the bill mandates will push struggling farms over the edge and force more farms, especially smaller operations, to permanently close.

 

During the debate, Hawley also commented on the comparison of New York State’s agriculture to that of California.  He stated, “In California, they have farms that operate year-round.  Their agricultural industry is 12 months a year and operates on a much larger scale.  Here, in New York, many farms only operate 1 to 2 months per year and during these months everything from planting to harvesting happens.”

 

Hawley, who also serves as a member of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, was among the first legislators to oppose the Farm Death Bill, or Assembly Bill 1867.  With the entire bipartisan Assembly Agriculture Committee, he sent a formal letter of opposition to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver outlining the devastating effects of the bill.  Hawley has worked with New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton, a former dairy farmer in Batavia, local farmers and a bipartisan delegation of state legislators, to openly and publicly oppose the bill as well as to wage a public campaign urging New Yorkers to contact the sponsors of the bill in opposition.

 

Despite this, the Assembly passed the legislation by a vote of 85 to 57.  Hawley stated, “Tomorrow, the State Legislature is celebrating their annual ‘Dairy Day,’ a day when dairy farmers and agribusinesses come from all over the state to be lauded by legislators as the ‘pride of New York.’ How hypocritical for lawmakers to, on the eve of this day, pass the bill that will kill these businesses.  Once our farms close up shop, they will be closed forever.”

 

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