New York Congressman Richard Hanna recently unveiled a bill in the House of Representatives to create jobs in upstate New York. The bill, known as the HARVEST Bill, focuses on seven areas: High-tech manufacturing, Agriculture, Reforming taxes, Veterans in the workforce, Education, Strengthening small businesses, and Transportation and infrastructure. The agricultural portion of the bill would expand farmer’s access to Farm Service Agency loans and supports the Agricultural Credit Expansion Act.
While Hanna’s bill represents a national attempt to grow jobs in New York State, local leaders are also banking on agricultural production to help the state out of its recent economic problems. The last few months have proven unexpectedly positive for New York agriculture. Favorable weather has boosted maple syrup production, up 81 percent from last year. Currently, only Vermont produces more maple syrup nationwide than New York.
In addition, New York’s struggling dairy industry is experiencing a statewide boom, with growth in the sector at a fifty year high. Part of the cause of this boom has been recent efforts at local agricultural production and consumption, particularly milk consumption, which has benefited New York dairy farmers. Also, the recent popularity of Greek yogurt, with two major brands headquartered in New York, has helped propel the dairy market forward.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer