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Ritchie Looks To Farmers For Opinions On Issues

State Senator Patty Ritchie is turning to the experts for advice on key issues facing farms and agriculture in New York, announcing a first-ever Survey of Agricultural Professionals which seeks farmers’ input on issues ranging from farm labor and overregulation, to new proposals to raise the minimum wage, and assess a “market order” fee on dairy producers.

“If we want to help revitalize the upstate economy and create more jobs we need to help grow our agricultural economy,” Senator Ritchie said. “As the chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, it’s vital for me to hear from Northern New York and Central New York’s farmers to help me determine their top priorities for the state budget and legislative session.”

Senator Ritchie mailed the survey this week to over 2,000 farmers in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties. The survey is also available on her website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov.

It’s the first time, to her knowledge, that a legislative chair has ever attempted to survey farmers in her district on current issues affecting the industry.

“I’m working hard to represent the interests of farmers in the Senate, and I want to know how farmers feel about the efforts we’re undertaking, and what more needs to be done,” Senator Ritchie said.

Senator Ritchie said she plans to tabulate the survey results before the final adoption of the State Budget, which is due April 1.