Issues: Organic Farming

Senate passes Griffo’s bill to protect municipalities from unfunded state mandates

ALBANY – The New York State Senate on Wednesday passed legislation authored by Senator Joseph Griffo that would prohibit the state from burdening local municipalities with any future unfunded mandates.

When the state imposes programs upon a municipality without fully funding them, it often forces those localities to find a way to pay for those services. This allows local priorities to essentially be dictated by the state, instead of leaving those choices up to local officials, Griffo said.

The end result is that municipalities often find themselves reluctantly having to impose more taxes on its residents to pay for programs and services that it might otherwise not have wanted.

June 18, 2015
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SENATE OK’S BILL TO LET CONSUMERS KNOW IT’S ‘GROWN IN NY’

Senate Ag Chair Continues Push to Connect Consumers and Local Farmers

The State Senate today approved a bill sponsored by Senator Patty Ritchie to help push more locally grown food onto consumers’ plates with a marketing campaign aimed at making them aware that products are “Grown in New York.”

The bill—S.519-A—creates the “Grown in New York” marketing program, which sets standards for producers who want to label their foods as local.

“More and more, consumers want to ‘eat local,’ not only for the nutritional value of fresh, wholesome, locally produced foods, but also to help support their local community and their local farmers,” said Senator Ritchie. “But it’s not always easy to tell if a product is truly local, since grocers can sell ‘local’ foods that are really produced hundreds of miles away, or even from a different state.”

June 15, 2015
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Senate Passes Legislation to Grow Community Gardens

Senate Passes Legislation to Grow Community Gardens 

(Albany, NY -- June 10th, 2015) Yesterday, the State Senate passed S5026-2015, legislation that would require the commissioner of Agriculture and Markets to convene the Community Gardens Task Force to issue reports on the progress of gardens across the State. The bill, sponsored by Senator Leroy Comrie (D-Hollis), passed unopposed 62-0.

June 11, 2015
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Senate Passes Legislation to Improve New York's Agriculture Industry

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to help keep the state’s agricultural industry booming. Among the seven bills passed, two were given final passage and will be sent to the Governor for consideration.

June 10, 2015
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RITCHIE BILL TO CONNECT NEW FARMERS WITH VIABLE, SURPLUS STATE-OWNED LAND RECEIVES FINAL PASSAGE

Measure is One of Five Passed by the Senate Wednesday Aimed at Supporting Agriculture

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced a bill aimed at encouraging more young people to pursue agricultural careers by making it easier for them to access viable, unused state-owned lands has received final passage and will now go to the Governor for his signature.

The measure (S. 1824)—which was prompted by increasing farmland prices that make it difficult for farmers to dig into agricultural careers—is part of the Senate-led “Young Farmers” program, a far-reaching plan that seeks to preserve existing farms today and for the next generation. In addition, several other measures were passed by the Senate Wednesday, aimed at helping young and beginning farmers jumpstart their agribusinesses. 

June 10, 2015
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STATE BUDGET INCLUDES RECORD FUNDING FOR AGRICULTURE

Restores Spending Cuts and New Funding  to Help Boost Products “Grown in NY”

March 30, 2015
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Ortt: Senate Budget Boosts New York Agriculture

Senator Fights For Small Farms, Rural Communities and Market Expansion

New York State Senator Rob Ortt (R,C,I–North Tonawanda) understands the needs of farmers and the importance of increasing access to locally-grown products as a way to grow the region’s agriculture industry. Sen. Ortt recently voted in favor of the Senate’s “Brighter Future” budget plan, which addresses the priorities of Western New York families and farmers.

There’s been a demand among consumers for locally-grown food, and as a way to meet that demand, the Senate has put forth a multi-faceted “Grown in New York” agriculture plan. The farm plan supports local farmers in their efforts to provide quality, fresh food while strengthening rural communities.

March 16, 2015
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Senate Republicans Continue Commitment to Support NY Farmers

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan joins Senator Patty Ritchie, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and members of the Senate Republican Conference in unveiling their new “Grown in New York” multi-part plan to help meet consumers’ demands for locally-grown food, support local farmers in their efforts to provide quality, fresh food, and strengthen rural communities.

"From dairy products to fruits and vegetables, New York's hardworking farmers produce fresh, quality food that we all depend on," said Gallivan.  "The Grown in New York program is designed to support and expand the state's vibrant agriculture industry and provide families throughout New York and the country with the best in locally grown and farm-made products."

March 5, 2015
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State Senator Gustavo Rivera Hosts Black History Month Celebration

 In honor of the countless contributions that African-Americans have made to our country, State Senator Gustavo Rivera, the Montefiore Health System, Health First and the Claremont Community Center will host a Black History Month Celebration on Saturday, February 7th from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM.

February 7, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
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SENATE PASSES THE CRIMINAL STREET GANG ACT

Legislation Focuses on Reducing Growth of Criminal Street Gangs and Protecting Citizens From Gang-Related Violence

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to reduce gang violence and protect communities throughout the state. The New York State Criminal Street Gang Act (S1701), cosponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza, would prosecute and prevent criminal gang activity by creating tough new penalties for gang-related crimes, as well as develop gang prevention programs for schools, at-risk youth, and prison inmates.

February 2, 2015
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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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STATE OF AG: RITCHIE RELEASES ANNUAL AGRICULTURE REPORT

Report Details Advancements, Investments and New Initiatives in Farming 

***CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REPORT ***

An innovative plan aimed at preserving the future of family farming, increasing investments in vital agriculture programs and a renewed push to encourage people to “eat local,” are just several of the highlights included in  the 2014 Annual Report of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released today by the committee’s chair, State Senator Patty Ritchie. 

“Throughout 2014, my colleagues and I worked diligently to grow our state’s largest industry by doing things like repealing costly mandates affecting farmers, restoring and increasing funding for vital programs and launching new initiatives like Young Farmers NY,” said Senator Ritchie, who was just reappointed as Senate Agriculture Committee Chair last week.

January 26, 2015
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Winter 2014-2015 Rural Futures Edition

The Legislative Commission on Rural Resources is proud to have published our Winter 2014-2015 Rural Futures Edition (click on the link below). We hope you find Rural Futures both interesting and informative. Please feel free to contact the Commission staff with any questions, comments or suggestions. Thank you!

January 8, 2015
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Chanukah is the celebration of Miracles!

"Chanukah is the celebration of miracles, a reminder that all things are possible," Senator Parker said.  "As you celebrate the spirit of Chanukah with friends and family, I wish you health, happiness and good fortune." The holiday celebrates a legendary victory of the Maccabees, a band of Jews, over a Greek army that occupied the Holy Land.  After the battle, the victorious Maccabees found only a one day supply of oil in the temple to light the lamps.  But the oil burned miraculously for eight days, the story says.

December 17, 2014
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Forum/Town Hall: Future Farmers Event

Come learn about New York's New Farmers' Grant Fund created specifically for new and early stage farmers.  Senator Gallivan and a representative from Empire State Development will be on hand to answer your questions.  

December 17, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
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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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NEW INCENTIVES FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF FARMERS

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column 

October 20, 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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SENATOR GALLIVAN DISCUSSES AGRICULTURE AT NYSAC

ATTENDS BLUE RIBBON TASK FORCE ON THE FUTURE OF FARMING

 

September 23, 2014
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Senator Valesky Takes on Locavore Challenge

Syracuse, NY – State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) is taking part in the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York’s (NOFA-NY) Locavore Challenge, which it holds each September to inspire awareness and action in eating locally and organically through events and activities around the state and online.

“We are fortunate to live in an area with a strong agricultural base and where locally produced foods are so readily available,” Senator Valesky said. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of the abundance of produce at our farmers’ markets, to support restaurants that buy local food products and to take part in the Locavore Challenge themselves.”

September 17, 2014
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