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

June 26, 2007

Governor Spitzer Joins "Big Four" Governors to Push Agricultural Priorities

Governor Eliot Spitzer joined California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Florida Governor Charlie Crist, and Texas Governor Rick Perry in calling on the United States Congress to act on issues of importance to the agricultural economies of the country's four most populous states.

The governors' letter lays out six priorities for consideration as Congress deliberates on the 2007 Farm Bill. The issues include: increased funding specialty crop programs; protection for invasive species; crop insurance; funding for conservation programs; flexibility in administration of nutrition programs; and support for organic agriculture.

"Together we represent a substantial segment of the nationís agricultural economy," said Governor Spitzer. "As our leaders in Washington consider the 2007 Farm Bill, we have joined together to speak with one voice on a critical issue that affects the jobs and lives of our citizens. These six priorities along with our number one priority of protecting the economic well-being of New York's dairy farmers will help to build a solid foundation to strengthen and secure the state's agriculture sector into the 21st Century""

The "Big 4" states represent the largest agricultural economies in the country -- representing more than one third of the nationís farmers, more than 174 million acres of cropland, and more than $60 billion in annual revenue.

"I hope that this initial effort to influence Congress on issues of critical importance to our states will allow for similar future bipartisan collaboration with the 'Big 4' Governors," Governor Spitzer added.

This effort follows Governor Spitzer's June 7 letter to New York's congressional delegation outlining his farm bill priorities for the state as well as his announcement earlier this year of $50 million in aid to New York State's struggling dairy farmers who suffered record low dairy prices during the 2006 calendar year.

A copy of the letter is attached.

2007 Press Releases