Farms have faced a variety of challenges in New York over the last several decades, with many agriculture operations like dairy producers getting larger and many choosing to leave the industry.
Hochul’s plan will include multiple agencies led by Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball to develop proposals meant to boost the industry. Policies that draw in transportation, labor, housing, taxation, farmland proteciton and climate will be reviewed.
“We are working hand in hand with the agricultural community to support the needs of both workers and employers and ensure the prosperity of farming in New York State,” Hochul said. “This working group will be critical to tackling several challenges within New York’s agricultural industry, and my administration will continue to work with farmers to address their needs and reimagine farming in our state.”
The working group of state agencies was announced Monday by Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office and comes weeks after the state moved to lower the overtime threshold for farm workers in the coming decade from 60 hours a week to 40 hours with a tax credit meant to offset the cost.
The administration wants to work with industry representatives and a final report will be issued to Hochul’s office by the working group.
The Department of Labor; Department of Transportation; Department of Environmental Conservation; Department of Health, Department of Public Service, Department of Taxation and Finance; New York State Energy Research and Development Authority; Empire State Development; and the State Liquor Authority will also be involved with the effort.
“As an upstate native and former representative of thousands of family farms in Congress, I know that farming isn’t just a business, it’s a way of life,” said Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado. “When our farms struggle, we all struggle, and that’s why the Governor and I remain committed to understanding and meeting the needs of New York’s producers. It is incumbent upon us to address the concerns we have heard from farmers across the state and provide solutions to ensure their continued success.”