Former county supervisor warns nation could face hunger in 20 years

NORWICH – Chenango County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board Chairman Don Franklin said if things don’t improve for the ag industry soon, the entire country could lack enough food in about 20 years.

“If we don’t keep ag viable ... if we don’t, I’m afraid to say that in 20 years down the road we are going to be facing a problem that we’ve never faced before. It’s going to be hunger,” he said.

Franklin is a former farmer and once served as a county supervisor. He was on hand at a meeting of the Agriculture, Buildings and Grounds Committee on Monday to ramp up support for two resolutions that would urge state lawmakers to support New York’s dairy farmers.

The resolutions encourage state representatives to support the Farmland Protection Program and Environmental Protection Fund and either reinstate the 1930s parity system of pricing milk back into the farm bill, or set milk pricing to reflect the real cost of production plus inflation.

Farmland Protection Funding was created in 1992 to assist towns and counties in developing and implementing local agricultural and farm land protection plans. Its funding is allocated from the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), a dedicated fund whose principle source is a state real estate transfer tax.

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