State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C – Mt. Hope) has asked New York State Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets Patrick Hooker, for help bringing Federal Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to Sullivan County.
Sullivan County Leaders are attempting to have Vilsack visit the County as part of Secretary Vilsack’s rural communities tour. Bonacic has received the “Circle of Friends” award from the NYS Farm Bureau for his continuous support of Agriculture.
“Agriculture is New York’s number one industry. Sullivan County is ideally suited to expand its agricultural sales to New York City. Bringing Secretary Vilsack here can certainly help promote Sullivan County’s tremendous agricultural service,” Bonacic said.
Bonacic also has helped support the agricultural industry by working to help develop the Dairy Assistance Act – which provided aid to Dairy Farmers in the State before the program was eliminated by Senate Democrats. Bonacic also was key to promoting the State Department of Agriculture and Markets Purchase of Development Rights program, which helped farmers by using a combination of aid to purchase development rights – preserving key agricultural lands and assisting farmers.
Bonacic indicated that he felt if Republicans regain control of the State Senate next year, as expected given recent publicly available polling data, that agriculture will again be a priority for State government. “When your three decision makers are Sheldon Silver and David Paterson from Manhattan, and John Sampson from Queens, the rest of the State is not represented, and agriculture gets put on the chopping block. We must work to reverse that and I believe this coming year it will be reversed, and agriculture will be given the support it deserves,” Bonacic said.