WASHINGTON, D.C. – The next Farm Bill won’t be enacted until 2012, but some federal lawmakers – including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand – are already preparing to shape the legislation which will replace the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008.
Last week Gillibrand, New York’s first representative on the Senate Agricultural Committee in 40 years, announced her intention of hosting “listening sessions” across the state. According to the senator, the purpose of the sessions will be to hear from farmers in agricultural communities about the issues they face.
“I want to make sure this next Farm Bill is tailored to New York,” she said, stressing the importance of the state’s 35,000 farms and the $4.5 billion they contribute to the Empire State’s economy. According to numbers released by her office, the more than 5,000 farms in the Southern Tier account for $372 million of the state’s total farm receipts, of which $65,794,000 is generated by Chenango County’s 908 farms and 177,267 acres of farmland.