CHENANGO COUNTY – Wednesday U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) said upstate New York’s “diverse” agricultural economy is on an upswing and, compared to past legislation, “needs and deserves” better representation in the upcoming 2007 Farm Bill.
Tuesday he met with 24 state agricultural representatives in Washington at a New York farm summit to develop an agenda specific to upstate agriculture, which he said is mainly guided by the small farmer.
“Small farms are a lynch pin to a way of life in upstate,” Schumer said.
The proposal focuses on expanding crop insurance benefits and extending milk price protections for dairy farmers, along with increasing funding for waste energy initiatives, marketing programs and farmland conservation efforts.
“Past farm bills only favored certain districts,” Schumer said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters, referring to a small number of large agricultural operations on the West Coast and in the Midwest. “We’ve put together an aggressive agenda that protects the primary interests of New York farmers.”