ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– Governor Kathy Hochul was on Long Island where she started a statewide listening tour to hear concerns farmers have about the industry. She also announced funding that will be awarded to protect farmlands throughout the state.
“Farmers can’t just be asked to save their land forever,” said Hochul. “There has to be incentives behind it. We have announced $38 million dollars.”
This funding will go towards 40 farms across the state to help preserve nearly 12,000 acres of farmland.
“We learned over the last couple of years, with COVID-19, it’s so important to have a food shed right here,” stated Richard Ball, State Commissioner of Agriculture. “We don’t want to depend on another country, another region for our food, so let’s make sure here in New York State we have a responsive, resilient food system.”
David Fisher, President of the New York Farm Bureau stated, “ Farmland preservation is a valuable tool to keep agricultural land in production. There are many parts of the state where development pressure makes farm transition a challenge, and today’s announcement can reduce that theat.”
In New York State’s budget, $25 billion dollars was allocated for affordable housing. A portion of that money will be going towards affordable housing for farm workers, some of them seasonal workers on visas.
” They need to have a safe, secure place that is affordable. So I have worked very hard to put forth an affordable housing plan— $25 billion dollars. We would like to build more in these communities to help them meet the needs of the employers,” said Hochul.
According to the governor, the state is making sure it deals with the high cost of farming over all by looking at the cost of fuel, diesel, and running farm equipment.
“We are working on ways for them to ensure they have tax credits. We increased the tax credits for them to be able to invest in their infrastructure, for them to invest— to have capital investments.”