Senator Ritchie's Young Farmers Initiative

Initiative Updates

New Farmer Grant Fund Application Workshop

The New York State "New Farmers Grant Fund," part of Senator Patty Ritchie's Young Farmers initiative, was created in 2014 to provide assistance to new and early stage farmers to encourage them to consider farming as a career, resulting in the growth of agribusiness across the state. The fund is administered by Empire State Development, a NYS agency.

In 2015, Senator Ritchie, who chairs the Senate's Agriculture Committee, fought for--and won--an increase in the grant fund to $1 million. Eligible new farmers can receive matching grants for up to $50,000 to help them start and grow their agribusiness.

July 1, 2015
Read more...

SENATE OKs ANOTHER RITCHIE BILL TO HELP NEXT-GEN FARMERS

Part of Sweeping Effort to Preserve Future of Family Farming

The State Senate today passed another in a series of bills sponsored by Senator Patty Ritchie to help preserve and strengthen the future of family farming in New York.

June 11, 2015
Read more...

2,700 LOCAL SENIORS NOW ELIGIBLE FOR FREE PRODUCE AT LOCAL FARMERS MARKETS

Promoting Better Health and Boosting Local Farmers Are Goals of Expanded ProgramSenator Patty Ritchie today announced that funding she included in this year’s state budget will provide free farm-fresh fruits and vegetables from area Farmers Markets to 2,700 seniors from Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties, as a way to boost nutrition and healthy eating, while at the same time helping to strengthen the bottom lines of New York farmers.

June 11, 2015
Read more...

RITCHIE: SENATE BUDGET INCLUDES RECORD FUNDING FOR AGRICULTURE

Restores Cuts, Includes Full Support for Senator’s ‘Grown in NY’ Plan

 

State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced that the Senate’s 2015-16 Budget Plan includes record funding for agriculture programs, including full support for her landmark “Grown in New York” plan that links consumers and local farms and preserves the future of family farming in the state.

The Senate’s budget plan (S.4203) increases support for agriculture by more than $20 million above the Governor’s proposal. Included is additional funding for programs that have proven critical to the success of farmers in Central and Northern New York, including restoration of funding cuts to the well-regarded Farm Viability Institute and the Northern New York Agriculture Development Program, as well as for research and promotion of key farm products, from apples to dairy, maple syrup to onions.

The restorations and new funding are more than five times the amount included in the Assembly’s agriculture plan (A.6003), which only restored about half of the cuts in the Executive Budget.

March 11, 2015
Read more...

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
Read more...

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
Read more...

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
Read more...

SENATE ADDS TWO MORE PIECES TO ‘YOUNG FARMERS’ PLAN

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

June 20, 2014
Read more...

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
Read more...

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
Read more...