Senator Ritchie's Young Farmers Initiative

Initiative Updates

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. The $1 million Young Farmers NY initiative includes Sen. Ritchie’s proposal for new farmer innovation grants—now called the “NY Beginning Farmer Fund”—of up to $50,000 each to help start or expand an agriculture business.

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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RITCHIE UNVEILS PLAN TO SECURE THE FUTURE OF FAMILY FARMING

“Young Farmers NY” Encourages New Generation of Farmers, Strengthens NY’s Leading IndustrySenator Patty Ritchie, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today unveiled her “Young Farmers NY” plan to address issues related to the advancing average age of New York farmers and to preserve the future of family farming.  The initiative will support and encourage a new generation of farmers and help strengthen the state’s leading industry for decades to come.CLICK HERE TO SEE DETAILS OF THE PLANWATCH VIDEO OF THE STATE CAPITOL PRESS CONFERENCE“Young Farmers NY,” which was announced today at a Capitol news conference, is a series of proposals to smooth the transfer of farmland to the next generation, preserve existing farmland, and help young farmers overcome obstacles to give them a grea

March 4, 2014
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ROOM TO GROW IN NY’S BIGGEST INDUSTRY

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly ColumnFrom sowing crops by hand and working the land with simple wooden plows to employing new and advanced technologies to grow better—and more—crops, agriculture has come a long way since it first took root in the United States.Illustrating these changes is the newly-released USDA 2012 “Census of Agriculture” (read the full report here).  The survey, which is taken every five years, not only indicates that agriculture continues to be a strong and major driver of our state and local economies, it also shows that there are tremendous opportunities for further growth in the industry. According to the report, the market values of livestock, crops and total products grown and produced by those in the industry are at an all time high, as farms in the United S

February 24, 2014
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