New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the appointment of Darrel Aubertine as the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets. The appointment was confirmed by the New York State Senate earlier this week and has been applauded by both farmers and politicians.
Aubertine, a former State Senator, is from Northern New York. A Sixth generation farmer, Aubertine has a strong tradition of representing and fighting for farmers in his state. Aubertine’s former background as a state senator and representative has revolved around agriculture, having served in the Senate and Assembly agricultural committees.
Aubertine’s appointment comes at a vital time for both New York and the nation. Agriculture remains of New York’s most valuable industries, generating over $5 billion in revenue annually. In addition, New York politicians, both locally and nationally, have been in the news in recent months pushing for agricultural reform. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, for example, has been touring the state pushing for dairy farm reform and mil price controls.
New York farmers have been hit hard recently. The number of dairy farms in the state is declining, hurting local businesses and industries in the process. In addition, Governor Cuomo’s recent budget proposals have included drastic cuts in farm funding and subsidies. Many hope that Aubertine’s appointment might represent an increased attention devoted to agriculture in the state and Aubertine himself has pledged to focus his energy on improving state agricultural performance which would serve to help fix the state’s economic woes.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer