senate Bill S5377A

Relates to access to viable agricultural land for new and beginning farmers

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 16 / May / 2013
    • REFERRED TO AGRICULTURE
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO AGRICULTURE
  • 03 / Mar / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO AGRICULTURE
  • 03 / Mar / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 5377A
  • 06 / May / 2014
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • 28 / May / 2014
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.949
  • 29 / May / 2014
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 02 / Jun / 2014
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 12 / Jun / 2014
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A7002B

Summary

Relates to access to viable agricultural land for new and beginning farmers.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7002B
Versions:
S5377
S5377A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Law Section:
Agriculture and Markets Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§16, 309 & 323, add §329-a, Ag & Mkts L; amd §2, Pub Lds L

Votes

11
0
11
Aye
0
Nay
0
aye with reservations
0
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Agriculture committee vote details

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5377A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law and
the public lands law, in relation to access to viable agricultural
land for new and beginning farmers

PURPOSE: To direct the Commissioner of the New York State Department
of Agriculture and Markets to enhance access to viable agricultural
land for new and beginning farmers and would direct the Commissioner
of the Office of General Services to work with the Commissioner of
Agriculture and Markets to develop an inventory of state-owned real
property that may be viable for farming.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill would amend the Agriculture and
Markets Law to:

- add a new subdivision 2-d to aid in efforts supporting the
successful transfer of viable agricultural land from existing owners
to new owners and operators, especially beginning farmers;

- amend subdivision 5 of section 309 to require the Agriculture
Advisory Council to provide guidance regarding tax, financial
assistance and other policies and programs that could address the
needs of new farmers to the Commissioner and State agencies;

- amend section 323 to require the Commissioner to report to the
Governor and the Legislature on efforts to enhance access to viable
agricultural land for new and beginning farmers;

- add a new section 329-a requiring the Department to collect and
compile information about both public and private lands available for
purchase or leasing for farming, and make such information available
on its internet website.

The bill would amend section 2 of the Public Lands Law to:

- add a new subdivision 2-a directing the Commissioner of the Office
of General Services to work with the Commissioner of Agriculture and
Markets to develop an inventory of available land for farming;

- add a new subdivision 2-b requiring the Commissioner of the Office
of General Services to report to the Governor and the Legislature
within one year of the effective date on issues related to selling
state lands for farming; and,

- add a new subdivision 3-a directing the Commissioner of the Office
of General Services to work with other state agencies to identify land
that may be viable for farming.

JUSTIFICATION: The most recent federal census of agriculture in 2007
found that the average age of farmers in New York State is about 56,
up from 50 in the early 1980s. Facing that reality, the U,.S.
Secretary of Agriculture has set a goal of recruiting 100,000 new
farmers across the country to replace those that are retiring. Farming
is a difficult business; several factors, such as the complex process
of transferring ownership of farms and prohibitive capital costs,
contribute to the aging of the farm population and present barriers to


younger farmers gaining access to land. There is increasing interest
by young people hoping to find viable land they can farm. Trends in
the marketplace such as the recent growth in Greek yogurt and other
dairy processors, and increased demand for locally grown foods and
beverages from consumers, foodservice businesses and institutions,
highlight the importance of assisting new farmers starting out.

This bill would emphasize assistance for new and beginning farmers in
existing state law. For example, it would require the State's
Agriculture Advisory Council to provide advice to State agencies
regarding tax, financial assistance and other policies and programs
that could address the needs of beginning farmers and the issues they
face related to the transfer of ownership of farms. It would also
encourage the identification of properties owned by the State that are
viable for farming and could be sold or leased for farming. This bill
will also promote information among those interested in purchasing or
leasing those properties.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 5377--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 16, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. RITCHIE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Agriculture -- recommitted
  to the Committee on Agriculture in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec.
  8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as  amended
  and recommitted to said committee

AN  ACT  to  amend  the agriculture and markets law and the public lands
  law, in relation to access to viable agricultural  land  for  new  and
  beginning farmers

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Section 16 of the agriculture and markets law is amended by
adding a new subdivision 2-d to read as follows:
  2-D. AID IN EFFORTS SUPPORTING THE SUCCESSFUL TRANSFER OF VIABLE AGRI-
CULTURAL LAND FROM EXISTING OWNERS TO NEW OWNERS  AND  OPERATORS,  ESPE-
CIALLY BEGINNING FARMERS.
  S  2. Subdivision 5 of section 309 of the agriculture and markets law,
as added by chapter 79 of the laws  of  1980,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  5.  The  advisory council on agriculture shall advise the commissioner
and other state agency heads on state  government  plans,  policies  and
programs  affecting  farming and the agricultural industry of this state
INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ADVICE REGARDING TAX,  FINANCIAL  ASSIST-
ANCE  AND  OTHER  POLICIES  AND PROGRAMS THAT COULD ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF
BEGINNING FARMERS AND ISSUES RELATED TO TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OF  FARMS.
Concerned  state  agencies  shall  be  encouraged to establish a working
relationship with the council and shall fully cooperate with the council
in any requests it shall make.
  S 3. Subdivision 6 of section 323 of the agriculture and markets  law,
as  amended  by  chapter  150 of the laws of 2013, is amended to read as
follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10980-02-4

S. 5377--A                          2

  6. reporting biennially to the governor and the legislature  regarding
the  activities of the commissioner, INCLUDING EFFORTS TO ENHANCE ACCESS
TO VIABLE AGRICULTURAL LAND FOR NEW AND BEGINNING FARMERS, the types  of
technical  assistance  rendered  to  county  agricultural  and  farmland
protection boards, municipalities, soil and water conservation districts
and  not-for-profit  conservation organizations, and the need to protect
the state's agricultural economy and land resources.
  S 4. The agriculture and markets  law  is  amended  by  adding  a  new
section 329-a to read as follows:
  S  329-A.   FARMLAND AVAILABILITY INFORMATION. 1. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL
COLLECT AND COMPILE INFORMATION ABOUT PUBLIC LAND  THAT  IS  VIABLE  FOR
FARMING  AND  IS  AVAILABLE  FOR  PURCHASE OR LEASE FOR FARMING AND MAKE
AVAILABLE SUCH INFORMATION, INCLUDING CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE OFFICE
OF GENERAL SERVICES, OTHER STATE  AGENCIES,  MUNICIPALITIES,  AND  OTHER
GOVERNMENTAL  ENTITIES  OFFERING SUCH LAND, ON ITS INTERNET WEBSITE. THE
DEPARTMENT SHALL PROVIDE GUIDANCE AND ASSISTANCE TO THE OFFICE OF GENER-
AL SERVICES, OTHER STATE AGENCIES, MUNICIPALITIES AND OTHER GOVERNMENTAL
ORGANIZATIONS THAT REQUEST SUCH ASSISTANCE, IN IDENTIFYING LAND THAT  IS
VIABLE FOR FARMING.
  2.  THE  DEPARTMENT  MAY ALSO MAKE AVAILABLE SIMILAR INFORMATION ABOUT
PRIVATE LAND AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE  OR  LEASE  FOR  FARMING,  INCLUDING
CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE OWNERS OF SUCH LAND.
  S  5.  Section  2 of the public lands law is amended by adding two new
subdivisions 2-a and 2-b to read as follows:
  2-A. STATE-OWNED REAL PROPERTY INVENTORY; FARMING. A. THE COMMISSIONER
OF GENERAL SERVICES IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO DEVELOP AN  INVENTORY,
IN  COOPERATION  WITH  THE  COMMISSIONER  OF AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS, OF
STATE-OWNED REAL PROPERTY THAT MAY BE VIABLE FOR FARMING.
  B. IF THE COMMISSIONER DETERMINES THAT ANY OF SUCH PROPERTY SHOULD  BE
MADE  AVAILABLE  FOR PURCHASE OR LEASE FOR FARMING THEN SUCH INFORMATION
SHALL BE PROVIDED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS  FOR  THE
FARMLAND  AVAILABILITY  INFORMATION  PROGRAM, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT IF
THE COMMISSIONER, IN COOPERATION WITH THE  COMMISSIONER  OF  AGRICULTURE
AND  MARKETS,  DETERMINES  THAT ANY OF SUCH PROPERTY SHOULD BE PROTECTED
AND PRESERVED USING  ARTICLE  TWENTY-FIVE-AAA  OF  THE  AGRICULTURE  AND
MARKETS  LAW  THEN INFORMATION ABOUT SUCH PROPERTY SHALL NOT BE PROVIDED
FOR THE FARMLAND AVAILABILITY INFORMATION PROGRAM UNTIL A REVIEW OF  THE
MERITS  AND  FEASIBILITY  OF PRESERVING SUCH PROPERTY USING SUCH ARTICLE
HAS BEEN CONSIDERED.
  2-B. REPORT. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL REPORT TO  THE  GOVERNOR  AND  THE
LEGISLATURE  WITHIN  ONE  YEAR OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SUBDIVISION
ON:
  A. THE INVENTORY OF STATE-OWNED REAL PROPERTY THAT MAY BE  VIABLE  FOR
FARMING CONDUCTED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION TWO-A OF THIS SECTION;
  B. THE FEASIBILITY OF, AND BARRIERS TO, SELLING, LEASING OR USING SUCH
PROPERTY FOR FARMING;
  C. THE FEASIBILITY OF USING ARTICLE TWENTY-FIVE-AAA OF AGRICULTURE AND
MARKETS LAW TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE SUCH LAND FOR FARMING WHEN SUCH LAND
IS SOLD; AND
  D.  ANY CONCERNS RELATED TO SELLING OR LEASING SUCH PROPERTY FOR FARM-
ING, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE TYPES OF FARMING ACTIVITIES THAT
MAY BE APPROPRIATE AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND COMMUNITY IMPACTS OF  FARM-
ING SUCH PROPERTIES.
  S  6.  Section  2  of  the public lands law is amended by adding a new
subdivision 3-a to read as follows:

S. 5377--A                          3

  3-A. LAND VIABLE FOR  FARMING;  IDENTIFICATION.  THE  COMMISSIONER  OF
GENERAL  SERVICES IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED, AS PART OF THE STATE-OWNED
REAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM, TO WORK WITH STATE AGENCIES TO IDENTI-
FY LAND THAT MAY BE VIABLE FOR FARMING AND MAY  BE  MADE  AVAILABLE  FOR
PURCHASE OR LEASE FOR FARMING.
  S 7. This act shall take effect immediately.

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