State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball comments on the farm bill
I am encouraged to see that we have been able to come together with a multi-year, comprehensive farm and nutrition package that will benefit all New Yorkers – in urban and rural areas, Upstate and Downstate.
To ensure that New Yorkers were considered in this important legislation, the Department held a statewide listening session to gather input on what the 2018 Farm Bill should look like, and I am pleased that so much of what was brought to us from our stakeholders has been included in the final policy package. As a result, this timely legislation protects our dairy farmers, ensures nutrition assistance for those in need, industrializes hemp, protects our environment from invasive species, and more.
Finally, New York’s unique economy will continue to expand. The Farm Bill industrializes hemp and supports further research on the commodity, building on the progress New York and other states have made in cultivating this crop that provides new opportunities for our farmers and can fuel a multi-billion-dollar industry.
Overall, the 2018 Farm Bill reflects the needs that our farmers and residents across the state voiced, and we are happy that their message was heard.