Ritchie: Money for Key Ag Programs Included in Joint Budget

Submitted by Sen. Patty Ritchie

Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patty Ritchie announced that Senate and Assembly negotiators have restored funding to New York’s critical agriculture programs in the joint budget to be presented to the governor.

“My top priority as the chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee has been to make sure that farms and agricultural programs did not suffer bigger cuts than other state programs,” Senator Ritchie said. “The original state budget proposal required our 36,000 farm families to suffer a disproportionate share of the budget cuts.”

“The budget proposal the Senate championed insures that farmers will face no new taxes or fees. It also insures that our agricultural programs will not be pitted against each other in what would ultimately be a losing battle over a shrinking share of funds for research, promotion and education,” Senator Ritchie said.

The Senate budget rejects the proposal to create competitive grants that would have pitted agricultural sectors against each other for a limited program funding.

The joint budget that will go to the governor for his consideration includes:

– $100,000 Maple Producers

– $500,000 Integrated Pest Management

– $150,000 For Center for Dairy Excellence

– $1 million for the Farm Viability Institute

– $822,000 for the Pro Dairy Program

– $300,000 for North Country Agricultural Development Program

– $192,000 for Future Farmers of America

– $150,000 for the Cornell Rabies Program that also serves Northern New York

– $206,000 for Apple Growers Association

– $713,000 for the Wine and Grape Foundation

– $80,000 for Agriculture in the Classroom

– $66,000 for the Association of Agricultural Educators

– $100,000 for Tractor Rollover Prevention