Albany, NY…Senator Metzger (SD-42) was one of 77 lawmakers who received the New York Farm Bureau’s annual “Circle of Friends” recognition released last week. She was the only Senate Democrat honored.
“I am proud to be recognized by the New York Farm Bureau for my work during the 2019 legislative session to support our diverse mosaic of family farms and agricultural businesses in New York State,” said Senator Metzger, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “As we embark upon the 2020 session, I will continue fighting to support a strong and diversified agricultural economy that fortifies New York's family farms, preserves our region's open spaces and rural heritage, and puts more fresh, wholesome, locally-produced foods on the table in our schools, nursing homes, and other institutions and businesses."
Metzger introduced 18 bills in her first session, all with wide bipartisan support, to fortify New York's farms, including legislation for student loan forgiveness and the Beginning Farmers Grant Fund to help the next generation of farmers, a bill setting labeling standards to ensure that foods sold as ‘local’ are truly NY-grown, raised, and harvested, and legislation directing the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to create a Lyme disease awareness campaign for farmers and farmworkers. Metzger also successfully restored over $3.7 million in proposed cuts to agricultural programs, and secured $18 million for farmland protection.
“New York Farm Bureau recognizes these Senators and Assembly Members for their legislative work on agricultural issues that matter to our members. We appreciate their support of bills and budget items that benefit farm families, and we hope to continue this partnership in the 2020 legislative session. We aim to work together with all lawmakers to support local food production and address the needs of our rural communities,” said David Fisher, President of New York Farm Bureau.
One of Metzger's most important bills was a nation-leading law creating a framework for the production, processing, and sale of hemp and CBD products. “We have a real economic opportunity in the production of hemp and CBD products, and I am eager to see our region and state capitalize on this opportunity for farmers and local businesses up the value chain,” Metzger said.