Albany, N.Y., September 21—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) has been named as a member of the 2012 New York Farm Bureau "Circle of Friends" -- an honorary organization formed in 1990 by the state’s leading farm advocacy organization to recognize state legislators who strongly support agriculture.
The Farm Bureau represents more than 35,000 member farm families and notified O’Mara of his selection earlier this week.
In a September 18th letter to O’Mara informing him of the tribute, Farm Bureau President Dean Norton wrote, "The New York Farm Bureau ‘Circle of Friends’ legislative award is based upon your voting record on issues of importance to New York agriculture…Membership is reserved for only those who actively support the farm families of New York State.”
O’Mara said that he was honored to receive the recognition for his consistent support of New York’s No. 1 industry. He noted that the farm economy generates more than $4 billion worth of annual economic activity statewide and provides a livelihood for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers.
"I’ve always been proud to stand up for our local farmers and for a regional and statewide agricultural industry that’s been such a tremendous foundation of upstate New York’s culture and economy. It’s a vitally important industry across hundreds of communities and remains a fundamental building block of a strong future,” said O’Mara, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
O’Mara also serves as one of 10 members – five state senators, and five members of the Assembly – on the joint, bipartisan Legislative Commission on the Development of Rural Resources. The commission, commonly known as the Rural Resources Commission, was established by the Legislature nearly three decades ago to examine the impact of rural communities and industries, especially agriculture, on the state economy and to develop programs and other initiatives to enhance and protect the state’s rural resources.
O’Mara noted that area Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R-C, Corning) and Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-Ithaca) are also members of the commission, which is currently chaired by western New York Senator Catharine Young (R-Olean).