Assemblyman Santabarbara Secures Vital Funding for Agriculture in State Budget
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D-Rotterdam) announced that this year’s state budget provides an increase of over $12 million for the Department of Agriculture and Markets to help working family farmers in upstate New York.
“We recognize the need for stronger investments. The agriculture industry is the backbone of the economy in the Mohawk Valley, which is why I continue to support our local growers and producers to assure this important industry in New York State remains viable for years to come,” stated Assemblyman Santabarbara.
The final state budget also funds the following programs:
- $1.9 million for farm viability research, economic development and education projects to help farms become more profitable and sustainable;
- $1 million for a Food Hub program to develop projects that will help connect upstate farm goods to urban and suburban food businesses;
- $1 million for the Beginning Farmers NY Fund, providing grants for infrastructure to young farmers;
- $1 million for the Taste NY program, promoting New York foods at visitor centers and tourist destinations;
- $800,000 for the Farmnet program to help family farms transition to a new generation;
- $700,000 for New York apple promotion and $500,000 for research to prevent apple diseases and develop new varieties;
- $500,000 for the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program to provide coupons for low-income seniors to purchase healthy fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets;
- $500,000 for a revolving loan fund to help farmers purchase expensive drainage systems to use in farm fields;
- $392,000 for high school students in the Future Farmers of America program;
- $320,000 for research to combat a pest threatening the state’s berry industry;
- $275,000 for Cornell research programs on honey bees, vegetables, corn and soybeans;
- $213,000 for maple syrup promotion and $125,000 for research to improve maple production efficiency; and
- $200,000 for hop and barley research to help New York’s resurgent craft beer industry.
Assemblyman Santabarbara, a serving member of the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee, noted that with over 800 farms producing roughly $110 million worth of goods, agriculture is a major source of economic growth in Montgomery and Schenectady counties.1