Local Matters

Community Sponsors

New York Farm Bureau

July 21, 2020 - 2:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, news, New York Farm Bureau.

Press release:

New York Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization, unveiled the results of a member survey that found 65 percent of the state’s farms and agribusinesses have been negatively impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 500 NYFB members participated in the informal survey conducted in mid-June that asked a dozen wide-ranging questions about the rural economy, health and safety of farm families and their employees as well as access to necessary personal protective equipment (PPEs). Respondents also described how they were personally affected.

Here are some key findings:

  • 43 percent of farms have lost sales during the pandemic.
  • More than a third of farms and agribusinesses (37 percent) are experiencing cash flow issues.
  • Almost half (47 percent) say they have reduced spending to local vendors and suppliers or will do so in the future.
  • An overwhelming majority of farms (84 percent) have a plan in place to train and assist their employees to mitigate the spread of the virus.
  • 46 percent of respondents say they are concerned about their mental health or that of someone they know.

“What we found with this survey is that no farm was untouched by the pandemic or the economic fallout,” said New York Farm Bureau president, David Fisher. “All of this underscores the need to continue to invest in our food system while also making health and safety a priority.

"Farmers are doing their best to make sure food production doesn’t stop, but we need to maintain the ability to process, distribute and market what we produce. As the state and federal governments look toward potential budget cuts and additional COVID-19 assistance, agriculture must be a part of the discussion. It really does take all of us working together to have a strong, sustainable food system that supports the farm community and feeds yours.”

May 28, 2020 - 3:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, business, covid-19, New York Farm Bureau.

Press release:

New York State has issued comprehensive guidance to help farms manage and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and New York Farm Bureau is asking farms across the state to review the information and put it to practice.

The guidance follows a letter NYFB President David Fisher wrote to Governor Cuomo in April asking for this assistance.

Farms have implemented a number of health and safety practices to protect their families and employees, but still had lacked comprehensive protocols from state officials that are specific to the unique aspects of agriculture.

The new guidance includes information for farmworkers, detailed cleaning protocols and a checklist for farms to follow.

“Planting season is underway and guest workers are arriving on farms," said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau president. "If we are to farm and produce food in a safe and responsible manner, farmers need to understand how best to do that amid a pandemic.

"I would like to thank Governor Cuomo as well as the Commissioners of Agriculture and Markets, Health and Labor for the newly released guidance. Farm safety is extremely important, and we must do all that we can to inform our farms, protect our valuable employees, and prevent a potential spread of the virus. No place of business is immune from the virus, and I ask my fellow farmers to continue to be proactive in their efforts."

NYFB has emailed the guidance to its members as well as published the information on the COVID-19 page of its website.

Since the pandemic began, the organization has worked with its partners across agriculture to provide members with the resources they need in these times. In addition, NYFB and Cornell Cooperative Extension have been conducting outreach to county health departments across the state to assess preparedness and quarantine housing options should an outbreak occur on a farm.

NYFB has also established a farmworker relief database to connect farms with potential temporary employees should they be needed.

Links to the NYS documents in English are below. NYFB expects NYS to release similar versions in Spanish in the near future.

August 30, 2018 - 3:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, business, New York Farm Bureau.

Press release:

New York Farm Bureau, along with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner, Richard Ball, and Farmers for Free Trade, highlighted today the importance of open markets for the state’s farmers and encouraged a quick end to the trade war that is creating an economic hardship on family farms across New York.

The farmers gathered at the Great New York State Fair, an important celebration of New York agriculture, to discuss their concerns. A number of New York commodities, including dairy, soybeans, wine, maple and apples face retaliatory tariffs in several countries including China, Canada, Mexico and in the European Union.

In turn, commodity prices have fallen on agricultural products. Equipment prices are rising due to the steel and aluminum tariffs, and farmers are concerned about losing long-established markets as countries turn to other, cheaper sources for their food. These losses, in turn, will impact rural communities that depend on agriculture to support their local economies.

While U.S. agriculture has had a trade surplus, the farm economy has not been a bright spot for this country. Net farm income was already down by 50 percent before the trade wars began. When times are tough, this is when this country needs to be looking for new opportunities to expand markets to sell the quality products produced on our farms.

The principle agreement announced this week with Mexico is a positive step in the right direction, but ultimately, we will need Canada to complete an effective NAFTA deal. Farmers also encouraged a resolution to disputes elsewhere, including China.

“We understand that trade agreements may need to be updated, but we have to be careful not to damage the relationships that we already have and depend on,” said New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher. “We are encouraging our leaders in Washington, to move quickly at getting the parties back to the negotiating table, much like we have seen this week with Mexico, and to move forward on improving trade relations with our partners.”

“The tariffs being imposed on our agricultural commodities are compounding an already difficult marketplace and putting New York’s farmers in a precarious situation. Once these markets are lost, we could find it extremely difficult to regain that footing. We have an opportunity here to collaborate with our partners and to call for new free trade agreements and thoughtful, long-term solutions,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball.

“Farmers for Free Trade is proud to join the New York Farm Bureau at the state fair today to discuss the importance of trade to New York's agriculture and manufacturing industries,” said Angela Hofmann, deputy director of Farmers for Free Trade. “Today's joint event will highlight the price that New York agriculture and manufacturing workers are paying from the trade war and call attention to the need for consistent and fair trade policies.”

“Our farmers are reliable, they are resilient, and they are responsible. They are ingenuitive and they are innovative in producing an excellent product for consumers both stateside and abroad amid a myriad of unpredictable challenges including the weather and ever-changing consumer demand. As steadfast patriots, we look to our government to recognize that our growers already operate in an environment of uncertainty and hope that this administration will facilitate opening the doorway to global opportunities in a way that is good for our country and its farmers,” said Colleen Klein, New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association’s executive director.

“Since the end of May, following Mexico’s announcement of 25 percent retaliatory tariffs on U.S. cheeses, the price we receive for our milk has dropped by 14 percent. To put that into realistic terms for our dairy farm, that is a loss of more than $3,000 a day. Farm families like mine and our dairy farming friends across New York State are asking for a quick end to the trade war affecting our families’ livelihoods and our country’s backbone, the American farmer,” said Johanna Fox-Bossard, Barbland Dairy in Fabius.

“New York maple producers are concerned about trade from two fronts. The tariffs in both Asia and Canada mean a potential loss of markets for American made maple syrup as cheaper Canadian maple syrup moves in to fill the void. In addition, the steel and aluminum tariffs have resulted in price hikes for equipment we need to produce maple syrup. My company alone was forced to increase prices 10 percent, prices that eventually will be passed down to consumers. We need a fix now before there are long-lasting repercussions on New York’s maple industry,” said Dwayne Hill, Shaver-Hill Maple Farm.

December 7, 2016 - 6:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in farm bureau, New York Farm Bureau, agriculture, elba, news.

Elba's Dean Norton has been replaced as president of the New York State Farm Bureau in an election held this evening at the bureau's annual meeting.

Norton, a dairy farmer, has been president and face of the farm bureau for eight years, representing the bureau not just in New York but in Washington, D.C., and around the nation.

The membership instead elected David Fisher, who owns a large dairy farm in St. Lawrence County, as president.

The nominees were Norton, Fisher and Mark Dunau.

(Information via the NY Farm Bureau's Twitter postings.)

UPDATE: Press release:

During the New York Farm Bureau State Annual Meeting in Albany, voting delegates elected David Fisher, a dairy farmer from St. Lawrence County, as the new president of the organization.

Fisher and his family have operated Mapleview Dairy in Madrid, N.Y. for four generations. He has served on the New York Farm Bureau Board of Directors for the past five years and previously was president of St. Lawrence County Farm Bureau. A graduate of Cornell University, Fisher earned a degree in Animal Science.

Fisher replaces Dean Norton who served as president for the past eight years.

“I am humbled that the farmer members of New York Farm Bureau have placed their confidence in me to lead this great organization. My family has a long history with Farm Bureau, and I am excited to work on behalf of our diverse membership to increase the value and visibility of New York agriculture. I would also like to thank Dean Norton for his service and commitment to New York Farm Bureau,” said David Fisher, president of New York Farm Bureau.

Vice President Eric Ooms, a dairy farmer from Columbia County, was re-elected to his position.

In addition, representatives to the State Board of Directors were elected, too. This concluded the annual two-day long meeting where resolutions were discussed and voted on to set NYFB’s 2017 public policy agenda.

Those elected include Pat McCormick of Wyoming County, re-elected as District 2 Director; Lin Davidson of Tompkins County was elected as District 4 Director; Jacob Schieferstine of Oneida County was re-elected as District 6 Director; Dean Casey of Rensselaer County, re-elected as District 8 Director; Chris Kelder of Ulster County, re-elected as District 10 Director; Kristen Brown of Orange County as the new Young Farmer and Rancher Chair on the State Board and Phyllis Couture of Cattaraugus County was re-elected as the Promotion and Education Chairperson on the State Board.

In addition, New York Farm Bureau handed out the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Awards to two worthy individuals who have made an impact on New York Farm Bureau and agriculture in this state. The awardees were Chris Fesko of Skaneateles, N.Y. and member of Onondaga County Farm Bureau, and Michael DellaRocco of Melrose, N.Y., a member of Rensselaer County Farm Bureau.

Finally, New York Farm Bureau announced two recipients of the James Quinn Award that recognizes extraordinary efforts by individual Farm Bureau members during the course of a given year “to serve and strengthen agriculture”.  The honorees were Joe and June Swyers of Livingston County Farm Bureau and Brad and Carolyn Almeter of Wyoming County Farm Bureau.

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 

Upcoming

Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button