The State Senate today passed legislation co-sponsored by Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) that would require state agencies to purchase food products grown in New York State.
“This legislation provides an excellent opportunity for New York to leverage one of its best assets—our broad agricultural base,” Senator Valesky said. “Every quart of strawberries, every ear of corn, and every pound of string beans bought are a direct investment in the local economy, and requiring state agencies to buy locally grown products will provide an economic stimulus to our Upstate, agriculturally focused communities.”
The “Buy from the Backyard” Act (S.2468)would stimulate agricultural production by requiring that 20 percent of all products purchased by agencies through contracts be grown, produced, harvested or processed in New York State.
Agriculture continues to be New York State’s number one industry, producing $4.7 billion in economic impact in 2009. Approximately 7.10 million acres—nearly 23 percent of the state’s land area--are used to produce many different food products, including apples, corn, onions and grapes.