Sen. Borrello wants to create the NY Food Insecurity, Farm Resiliency and Rural Poverty Initiative
By Diego Flammini
A New York State Senator has tabled an ag policy package designed to provide supports to farmers and rural residents across the state.
State Sen. George Borrello’s proposal amends six laws to create the NY Food Insecurity, Farm Resiliency and Rural Poverty Initiative.
The package would also create the New York Food Insecurity, Farm Resiliency and Rural Poverty Office within the state department of agriculture. This office would be responsible for providing oversight and assistance to farmers, food banks and rural New Yorkers.
In addition, the bill calls for the creation of the New York Meat, Fiber and Dairy Processing Study Commission. This 19-person group would examine logistical, legal and other challenges the meat, fiber and dairy processing sectors face and provide recommendations on how to remedy those situations.
This bill and its programs are necessary to support the farmers who have continued to support their communities during the pandemic, Borello said.
“Especially now in the light of this pandemic we understand how critically important the agriculture community is to New York and our food security,” he said on the Senate floor, The Post-Journal reported. “When people think of New York state they think of the skyscrapers of New York City, but really New York state is an agriculture state.”
Borrello’s bill would create multiple grant programs to help members of the ag community.
These include programs for beginning farmers, farm infrastructure and equipment purchases and transportation fuel reimbursements.
The New York ag community supports Borrello’s bill.
The policy proposal “looks to address a number of agricultural needs including processing and infrastructure while also expanding opportunities for the state's diverse farms,” Steve Ammerman, director of communications with the New York Farm Bureau, told Farms.com in an emailed statement. “We appreciate his focus on agriculture and highlighting its importance to our local food system and the state's economy.”