13 Apr 2021
Joint – Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture
Chair: Senator Michelle Hinchey
and Senate Standing Committee on Labor
Chair: Senator Jessica Ramos
and Senate Standing Committee on Social Services
Chair: Senator Roxanne Persaud
Public Hearing: Diversifying Agriculture and Addressing Food Justice alongside Continuing Inequalities on our Food Systems
Place: Online : https://www.nysenate.gov/events
Time: 1:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Contact: Leah Goldman, 518-455-2350
Media Contact: Senate Majority Press Office (518) 455-2415
SUBJECT: Diversifying Agriculture and Addressing Food Justice alongside Continuing Inequities on our Food Systems
PURPOSE: To receive testimony on the continued inequities of the food system and examine ways to remedy those inequities.
Of the 57,865 farms in New York State, only 139 of them are owned by Black farmers and approximately 600 are owned by Hispanic or Latinx farmers. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) have faced higher barriers in owning farm land, accessing capital for farm equipment, obtaining agricultural education and training, and gaining access to markets.
There is also systemic food insecurity in many low income and communities of color throughout our state. These communities have been denied access to fresh and healthy food, hindered access to cultural ingredients, and do not have community control or local ownership of the food distribution system. Justice around our food systems involves both working to ensure BIPOC individuals have access to formal roles within the food supply chain and ensuring all of our communities have access to fresh, healthy and culturally relevant food.
The Committees seek input from stakeholders across the State on what systemic changes can be made to increase opportunities for BIPOC farmers, diversify management and ownership of farms, improve access to fresh and healthy food in low income communities and communities of color, and increase local ownership and input in community food systems. Additionally, the Committees welcome testimony on all aspects of food justice and creating a more equitable food system across New York.
Persons invited to present pertinent testimony to the Committees at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified of means by which to testify and scheduling, postponement or cancellation.
Oral testimony will be limited to five minutes. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committees will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible.
Attendees and participants at any legislative public hearing should be aware that these proceedings are video recorded. Their likenesses may be included in any video coverage shown on television or the internet. In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committee’s interest in hearing testimony from all sources.
In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Legislature, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Senate facilities and activities.