Barrett’s bill to support senior farmers delivered to Cuomo - Daily Hudson Valley News

Barrett’s bill to support senior farmers delivered to Cuomo

Dec 10th, 2014 | By | Category: Current Events

Continuing her efforts to help strengthen agriculture and better support senior farmers, Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D – Columbia, Dutchess) announced that a bill she authored to support senior farmers was delivered to Govenor Cuomo’s desk this past Friday (A.9215). The governor has 10 days to act on the bill after its delivery to him.

“Our family farms are among the best in the nation, feeding us with healthy local food and spurring regional economic growth,” stated Assemblymember Barrett. “By focusing attention on our older farmers, we’re helping protect our agricultural traditions, while providing these hardworking men and women the resources to successfully transition their businesses to the next generation and ensure they remain viable for years to come.”

Barrett’s bill requires that the Department of Agriculture and Markets work with the Office of the Aging and look into all programs and services provided by the state to make sure they support the needs of aging famers in all agricultural sectors. The average age of farmers is now 57 years old; with an aging population in one of the region’s most vital industries, it is important that senior farmers are aware of all the services available to them.

“The average age of a dairy farmer today is about 58. Unless their children see a viable and sustainable way of life they will choose other careers,” said Sam Simon, the President of Hudson Valley Fresh.

Since serving in the state Assembly, Didi Barrett has fought for measures to help promote agriculture and food production, including new initiatives that help young farmers pursue successful careers through the Young Farmer Loan Forgiveness and Young Farmers NY Fund (A.8556, Part Y and A.8555, Part Z). She also authored a law that allowed the manufacture and sale of craft beer on the Culinary Institute of America campus in Hyde Park (Chap. 200 of 2014).  Currently, she’s fighting to help enact a law that would give farmers a tax credit for tolls paid on the New York State Thruway (A.7347). The bill successfully passed in the Assembly for two consecutive years.

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