Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jola Szubielski, Lisa Koumjian 518-457-0752

October 04, 2017

Updated - Date and Time: State Agriculture Commissioner Announces Next Stop on Farm Bill Listening Tour in Morrisville on October 23, 2017

Second Listening Session to Take Place at Morrisville State College

Listening Session Provides an Opportunity to Engage with Industry and Develop New York’s 2018 Farm Bill Priorities

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced the second listening session on the 2018 Farm Bill Listening Tour will take place on Monday, October 23 at 1 p.m. at Morrisville State College, Hospitality Suite, Athletic Stadium, Morrisville, NY 13408.   This is an updated date and time.  Participants can RSVP for the Morrisville session here.  Additional sessions held across the State will be announced next week.  Written comments can be submitted to

The Farm Bill Listening Tour provides an opportunity to engage with and hear from constituents about the importance of the 2018 Farm Bill to New York State.  It is hosted jointly by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). 

Feedback gathered during the tour will be provided to Governor Cuomo to help develop New York’s Farm Bill priorities for critical funding and policy changes in the areas of agriculture, nutrition, and the environment.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, OTDA Executive Deputy Commissioner Barbara Guinn, Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Bill Magee and a representative from the NY Farm Bureau will also be in attendance for this second session. 

The Farm Bill is an omnibus, multi-year law that governs an array of agricultural and food programs.  The most recent Farm Bill, the Agricultural Act of 2014, expires at the end of 2018. 

With many important programs facing potential cuts once the Farm Bill expires, the listening session will help shape the agricultural policies and programs New York State will support in the 2018 Farm Bill.  Key areas impacted by the Farm Bill and to be discussed during the listening sessions include the dairy sector, land conservation, the growth of the industrial hemp industry, state and private forestry programs, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, invasive species, food safety and SNAP, among others.

The nutrition title, which includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), comprises 80 percent of the total amount of funding provided through the Farm Bill, while the remaining 20 percent in funding supports agricultural production and conservation programs.

Nearly 3 million, or 1 in 7, New Yorkers participate in the SNAP program, receiving approximately $4.8 billion in SNAP benefits. Over one million SNAP recipients are children under the age of 18 and nearly 620,000 SNAP recipients are age 60 or older.

Agriculture is a major driver of the New York State economy and about 23 percent of New York State's land area, or 7 million acres, is farmland.  Nearly 36,000 family farms produce some of the world’s best food with the State ranking in the top 10 in 30 different commodities that support its communities. New York is the second largest producer of apples and maple syrup, second in cabbage and snap beans, third in grapes, grape juice and wine.  It also ranks third in dairy production, which is the largest segment of the agricultural sector.

New York’s dairy industry generates more than $2.5 billion in farm-gate sales, constituting nearly one-half of the state’s total agricultural receipts. The grape, grape juice and wine industry alone generates more than $5 billion in economic benefits annually to the State of New York.

2017 Press Releases