Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica A. Chittenden

June 12, 2007

New York Agriculture Priorities Outlined in Letter to New York Congressional Representatives

Funding for Dairy Industry, Renewable Energy Development
and Organic Agriculture Cited as Top State Priorities

Governor Eliot Spitzer sent a letter to the New York congressional delegation and the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture committees detailing the administration’s agriculture priorities and a list of programmatic initiatives that the Governor believes should be included in the 2007 federal farm bill, which is to be reauthorized this year.

In his letter, Governor Spitzer listed aid for New York’s 36,000 dairy farmers as well as the renewal and expansion of the food assistance, environmental conservation, and organic agriculture programs as top priorities. He urged Congress to pay particular attention to the need for farm-based renewable energy research and development.

“Crippled by skyrocketing fuel costs, high property taxes, rising input costs, and weather disasters, dairy farmers have been busy paying off debts and making ends meet rather than enjoying the modest increases in prices,” said Governor Spitzer. “Dairy farmers – and the communities they support – need expanded, enhanced, and extended safety-net programs. As our nation commits to reducing the importation and consumption of fossil fuels, and public policy makers develop clean energy strategies, we must be sure to address both the supply side and the demand side of the energy equation. The time is right to focus on energy efficient farms and renewable energy production.”

The Governor also highlighted the need to simplify and expand the federal Food Stamp program. “There are simply too many households eligible for benefits that do not participate, particularly among the working poor. States need the flexibility to develop and implement systems that enable more eligible individuals to receive food stamps,” added Governor Spitzer.

Last week, Department of Agriculture & Markets Commissioner Patrick Hooker, Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Alexander “Pete” Grannis, and Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner David Hansell traveled to Washington to meet with key members of the New York State congressional delegation to present the Governor's letter.

A copy of the Governor’s letter, addressed to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN), is attached.

2007 Press Releases