February 9, 2016
ALBANY, NY – State Senator Tom O’Mara announced today that he and the Senate Republicans are working on a new program to promote agriculture and give tax relief to farmers. O’Mara says that the program, “Planting Seeds,” includes tax relief; health and safety initiatives; an emphasis on agricultural education; expanded efforts to attract young and new farmers, including veterans; and restoring funding for numerous agricultural programs and services that O’Mara says have been targeted for significant funding cuts under Governor Cuomo’s 2016-17 proposed state budget, many of which are administered and operated by Cornell University.
“The Senate Republican Majority has always been a leader in the effort to keep New York one of the nation’s proudest and most successful agricultural states. Over the past several years we’ve initiated actions to attract new farmers, to keep our next generation of farmers competitive, and to try to prevent New York’s farmers and farm families overall from being taxed, regulated and priced out of business,” said O’Mara, who also serves as a member on the Legislature’s joint, bipartisan Commission on Rural Resources. “I’m especially proud that we’ve developed such a productive and successful working partnership with Cornell University to strengthen agriculture and rural affairs, and I strongly support these efforts to ensure that New York State’s commitment to this partnership remains strong and grows even stronger moving forward.”
Senator Cathy Young:Over the past four years, the Senate Republican Majority has restored more than $32 million in budget cuts for agriculture funding. The 2016-17 Executive Budget proposes cuts in funding to 42 different programs, the largest single-year reduction in agriculture funding in five years. In response, Senator Young and her colleagues will prioritize full restoration of these funds, and work to achieve record levels of funding to support family farmers.