Senate Passes Bill to Support Local Farmers

April 21, 2015

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that will help New York farmers grow their businesses. The bill (S2250) sponsored by Senator William Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson), would connect farmers to Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs), giving them additional resources to promote economic growth and increase job creation. 

Senator Larkin said, “This legislation will allow IDAs to provide local businesses that directly grow, harvest, or collect agricultural products with financial assistance and technical support. It will encourage our local farmers and agricultural businesses to expand and upgrade their operations to allow them to stay in New York and make their industry viable and more productive.”

Under current law, IDAs can issue loans and provide technical support to manufacturers, processors, and warehousers of agricultural products, but not to those businesses that directly grow, harvest, or collect agricultural products.

Expanding the authorization of already existing IDAs, many of which are located in rural areas, will help promote job growth in industries such as fruit cultivation, raising of beef and other animals, and additional agricultural pursuits. 

This legislation continues the Senate Republican commitment to keeping New York’s agriculture industry thriving. The 2015-16 State Budget added more than $12 million to the Executive Budget proposal, restored budget cuts to 33 different programs that support farmers, agricultural technology, and research, and included funding for key components of the Senate’s “Grown in New York” plan to strengthen connections between farmers and consumers looking to buy locally produced foods. The budget also included $50 million for a new Southern Tier/ Hudson Valley Farm Initiative to support the agriculture industry and farmland preservation.

The bill will be sent to the Assembly.