;

Growing Strong: Ritchie Hosts Agriculture Day At State Capitol

State Senator Patty Ritchie welcomed leaders from across the agriculture industry to the State Capitol Wednesday for Agriculture Day, a celebration of New York’s leading industry.

" data-medium-file="https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Ritchie-Hosts-Agriculture-Day-300x266.jpg" data-large-file="https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Ritchie-Hosts-Agriculture-Day-460x408.jpg" class="size-medium wp-image-238780" src="https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Ritchie-Hosts-Agriculture-Day-300x266.jpg" alt="Senator Patty Ritchie is seen with some of the live animals that were brought to the State Capitol for Agriculture Day." width="300" height="266" srcset="https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Ritchie-Hosts-Agriculture-Day-300x266.jpg 300w, https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Ritchie-Hosts-Agriculture-Day-150x133.jpg 150w, https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Ritchie-Hosts-Agriculture-Day-460x408.jpg 460w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />
Senator Patty Ritchie is seen with some of the live animals that were brought to the State Capitol for Agriculture Day.

The event highlights all of New York State agriculture and its hardworking farmers and producers.

“As chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and someone who grew up on a dairy farm, this day is as important as they come. Agriculture Day is a wonderful opportunity for me to not only thank some of our hardworking farmers and producers, but also introduce some of my colleagues and visitors to the Capitol to some of the wonderful home-grown products they make, while also spreading the word on how important agriculture is to our state and local economies,” Senator Ritchie said.

In addition to providing healthy, farm-fresh foods and other locally made products, agriculture is also a major driver of our state’s economy, generating nearly $5 billion a year. In the new state budget, Senator Ritchie successfully secured a record amount of funding, for the fourth straight year, $54.4 million that includes $20 million in cuts to the proposed Executive Budget and program additions.

That funding also includes much-need assistance for our hardworking, yet struggling dairy farmers to support key programs that help with the health, marketing, research, education, sustainability and profitability of our dairy farms.

During Wednesday’s “Agriculture Day,” producers from the across the state were offering some tasty samples of their farm-fresh products—including milk, yogurt, cheese and even maple milk.

Cornell University held cheese making demonstrations, FFA students presenting their student projects and one group even brought live sheep.

The New York State Senate also passed two bills sponsored by Senator Ritchie that will help improve agriculture and dairy farming across New York State.

Those bills are:

(S.7851), which creates a new “dairy value-added” tax credit to assist farmers in purchasing supplies and equipment that allows them to manufacture dairy-based products like yogurt, ice cream and flavored and enhanced milk beverages; and

(S.2905-A) which doubles the wage tax credit to help dairy and other farmers attract and retain workers.

Ag Day coincides with National Dairy Month.

Established in 1937, National Dairy Month started out as National Milk Month, an event held to promote drinking milk.

Since that time, the observance has grown into an annual tradition that helps to celebrate our state’s 5,000 dairy farms and all the fresh, nutritious foods and drink they produce.