Farmers push against $15 minimum wage proposal

CHENANGO COUNTY – The ag community is rallying against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, arguing that the increase will have a dangerously unfavorable affect on farming operations across the state.

The governor’s plan to raise New York’s minimum wage to $15 an hour has received backlash from many pro farmer organizations, including the New York State Farm Bureau, a non-profit farmer advocacy group established to address economic and public policy issues facing the agriculture industry. The organization released a statement bashing Cuomo’s proposal earlier this week.

Dean Norton, President of the NY Farm Bureau, called the proposal a “barrier to small farmers” like those in Chenango County.

“This will ultimately be bad news for the rural economy that depends on agriculture as its bread and butter,” said Norton.

Norton additionally said New York farmers are already at a more competitive disadvantage compared to those with lower labor costs in other states. “They cannot make up the increased spending by simply raising prices because they are competing in a global market where supply and demand dictate what consumers pay,” he explained.

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