Measure Cuts Taxes, Fees, Overregulation; Top Priority of NY Farmers
A bill that slashes red tape, taxes and fees on New York’s hardworking farmers—and is a top priority of the state’s farm communities—was today approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee and sent to the full Senate for action.
The “Farmers Regulatory Relief Act” (S.4340), sponsored by Senator Patty Ritchie, targets some of the most onerous taxes, fees and regulations that make it tougher for New York farmers to succeed.
“Family farmers are key to the economies of rural communities throughout New York, and helping agriculture thrive will provide a boost for our entire state economy,” said Sen. Ritchie, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Bill Allows Innovation, New Products, New Jobs In Food, Wine Industry
State Senator Patty Ritchie’s bill (S4054) to allow the sale of wine flavored frozen desserts in New York State passed the Senate.
“With record unemployment, New York State needs to encourage innovation in its wine industry and commercial food industries to make it easier for companies to create new products using what's already produced on New York’s farms,” Senator Ritchie said. “As the chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee, I felt it was vital to help encourage food manufacturers to use wine as an ingredient in more desserts like sorbets to help create new products, new businesses and new jobs both on farms, at wineries and in our manufacturing plants.”
State Senator Patty Ritchie today said that New York consumers who care about fresh, local food should be holding their noses at a move by state bureaucrats to require many farmers markets to sell only plastic-wrapped cheese.
The state Department of Agriculture and Markets is banning the age-old practice by cheese mongers of selling fresh sliced cheese, unless they take costly steps like installing specialized sinks with hot water at outdoor farmers markets.
State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced that her bill that boosts riding stables and other “commercial equine operations,” which will also translate to more business for farmers and suppliers, was signed into law by Gov. Cuomo.
The new law allows operators to qualify for agricultural assessments and other benefits that are extended to more traditional farms and horse boarding facilities.
“This new law boosts the horse industry by recognizing its growing importance and popularity and, as a result, helps other farmers and small businesses that provide the feed, grain and other supplies to horse owners, riders and enthusiasts,” said Sen. Ritchie.
State Senator Patty Ritchie, the chair of the New York State Senate Agriculture Committee, visited the Strano farm in Oswego County to discuss agricultural issues with Oswego Farm Bureau and the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District. Shown are Nancy Weber (President of Oswego Farm Bureau), Senator Ritchie, Freddy Strano and John DeHollander (District Manager, Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District). Oswego County is one of New York state's leading agricultural counties. Senator Ritchie recently met with onion and vegetable growers to discuss drainage issues affecting some Oswego County farms after last spring's extensive rainy season.
At Senator’s Request, State Will Also Look at Boosting Sales of Other NY-Grown Foods
State Senator Patty Ritchie announced that the state has agreed to put New York milk back in its employee lunchrooms, which serve tens of thousands of state workers and visitors every day, and also look to boost the sales of other New York-grown products.
Senator Ritchie, who made the announcement as she prepared to embark on a tour of a Madrid dairy farm Friday, said the move will open a broad new market for New York farmers, and also help showcase quality dairy and other farm products that are produced by New York farmers.