Senator Ritchie's Young Farmers Initiative

Initiative Updates

SENATOR RITCHIE QUESTIONS AG COMMISSIONER ON NEW STATE BUDGET

On the first day of public hearings on the Governor's proposed new State Budget, I had the opportunity to question Richard Ball, Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets about the plan, and efforts to help farmers grow. We discussed the Young Farmers initiative, funding for farmland preservation, efforts to connect consumers to growers and budget cuts to programs that I believe provide a wealth of benefits to farmers.

The public hearings are just a step in the process of enacting an on-time, balanced budget, and I will file frequent updates here on my website. Be sure to check back often.

 

 

January 28, 2015
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RITCHIE NAMED TO NY FARM BUREAU “CIRCLE OF FRIENDS”

Receives Nod for Fourth Consecutive Year for Support of Agriculture Industry 

In recognition of her strong support for our state’s agriculture industry, State Senator Patty Ritchie was named to the New York Farm Bureau’s “Circle of Friends” for the fourth consecutive year. 

“As New York’s leading industry, agriculture is vitally important to the economic success of our state.  Not only that, but in many families, farming is a tradition, passed down from generation to generation,” said Senator Ritchie, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee.

“As someone who grew up on a farm and the representative of a region that is largely rural, I am thrilled to once again receive this special recognition.  As the 2015 Legislative Session approaches, I am looking forward to continuing to work closely with the Farm Bureau in an effort to further expand the industry and provide a boost to our hardworking farm families.”

As Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee Senator Ritchie has led the charge to repeal costly mandates affecting farmers, restore budget cuts to programs utilized by those in the industry, launch new initiatives to protect the future of agriculture and cut red tape and to help ensure farming remains a viable profession in New York state. 

December 8, 2014
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STATE LAUNCHES COMPONENTS OF RITCHIE’S “YOUNG FARMERS NY” PROGRAM

Includes Initiatives to Encourage Young People to Pursue Agriculture Careers 

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced components of her “Young Farmers NY” program—a plan aimed at addressing issues related to the advancing average age of New York farmers and preserving the future of family farming—are being made available today.

Parts of the program launched today include more than $600,000 in grants as well as a loan forgiveness program, both aimed at helping young farmers overcome obstacles and giving them a greater opportunity for a successful career in agriculture.

“It’s hard to imagine a world without farmers,” said Senate Agriculture Chair State Senator Patty Ritchie.  “But it’s something that could become a reality if we don’t take proactive steps towards addressing the issue of our state’s aging farmer population.”

“The components of my Young Farmers NY program rolled out today will give those who are just starting out a real incentive for joining the ranks of our state’s hardworking farmers and more importantly, will serve to protect our state’s biggest industry for many years to come.”

October 10, 2014
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SENATE ADDS TWO MORE PIECES TO ‘YOUNG FARMERS’ PLAN

Strengthens $1 Million Program to Attract Next Generation of Family Farmers

June 19, 2014
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BUILDING A FUTURE FOR FARMING IN THE NEW STATE BUDGET

Snow and cold aside, March is a “sweet” month.  That’s because of “Maple Weekend,” an annual celebration held to promote New York’s maple industry. With 2.2 million taps, our state is the nation’s second largest maple producer with plenty of room for growth.During this year’s Maple Weekend, I had the chance to visit with our region’s newest young farmer, Josh Parker.  A16 year-old, Josh has set up his own maple sugar operation in St.

March 31, 2014
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RITCHIE ‘YOUNG FARMERS’ PLAN INCLUDED IN FINAL STATE BUDGET

Budget Also Reaffirms NY’s Commitment to Agriculture with Record New Funding for Farm Programs

State Senator Patty Ritchie announced that key elements of her “Young Farmers NY” plan to support and encourage careers in agriculture will be included in the final state budget, which also adds record levels of new funding for priority agriculture programs that can help farmers succeed.

March 30, 2014
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AGRICULTURE, FAMILY FARMING WILL GROW WITH SENATE BUDGET PLAN

Ritchie ‘Young Farmer’ Plan, Record Ag Funding Wins Bipartisan Support   Senator Ritchie’s “Young Farmers NY” plan to secure the future of family farming and encourage more young people to pursue careers in agriculture won bipartisan approval today as part of the Senate’s state budget plan that also included nearly $9 million in new investments in programs to help farmers grow. That amount is the largest increase in support for agricultural research, marketing and education programs in at least six years. Senator Ritchie’s Young Farmers NY plan was modeled on successful programs in other states that are bringing young people back to agriculture.

March 16, 2014
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WHAT IF THERE WERE NO FARMERS?

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column From the food we eat to the products we use, not a day goes by that we don’t have a farmer to thank for helping to provide life’s necessities.  But, what if there weren’t any farmers?  As recent research suggests, that’s a question we should be considering.  Farming is our state’s most important industry, it’s also a way of life handed down from generation to generation. But as the recent USDA Census of Agriculture depicted, the average New York farmer is changing. According to the report, the average age of New York farmers is 57.1 years, with two farmers aged 65 and older for each one under 35.  In addition, the survey also pointed to the fact that roughly 50,000 acres of farmland were lost in New York in each of the past five years.

March 10, 2014
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Senator Patty Ritchie Press Conference on 'Young Farmers' plan

Senator Patty Ritchie unveiled a comprehensive legislative proposal to strengthen family farming in New York and encourage more young people to pursue careers in agriculture.Speakers at the State Capitol press conference included young farmers Orion and Jessica Behling, of Mexico (Oswego County), NY, who are partners in their family's apple orchard, cidery and you-pick business.Read more about Senator Ritchie's plan by clicking here. 

March 5, 2014
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