The nonpartisan New York Farm Bureau recently named Assemblyman Andy Goodell and Senator Cathy Young to its prestigious "Circle of Friends" list. This recognition is based on their voting record on issues of agricultural importance, sponsorship of important agricultural bills that help local farmers, and their vocal opposition to policies that are harmful to farming.
"The selected lawmakers were chosen for their commitment to the hard-working farm families in New York. Each friend has demonstrated that they understand the importance of agriculture to the people of their legislative district and how farming significantly impacts the economy of this great state," said Dean Norton, President of the New York Farm Bureau.
Assemblyman Goodell noted, "Agriculture is ex-tremely important to Chau-tauqua County and accounts for over $250 million in local economic activity. Chautau-qua County ranks first in New York state for the number of active farms and fifth in the state for the number of acres in production. It is critical that we support our local agricultural industry."
Above: Senator Cathy Young discussing agricultural issues with local farmers.
Below: Assemblyman Andy Goodell discussing agricultural issues with Ed Szumigala.
Senator Young stated, "Family farms are struggling to stay competitive in New York tate, and the Farm Bureau does a terrific job of advocating for the positive polices that support agricultural community needs. I'm proud to work alongside the Farm Bureau and will continue to partner with them and Assemblyman Goodell so that our local farmers are in position to succeed now and in the future."
Important legislative issues addressed by Senator Young and Assemblyman Goodell included the passage of Senator Young's bill that caps any increase in agricultural assessments to no more than 2 percent, efforts to reduce the regulatory burden on family farms, initiatives to promote locally grown New York farm products and adoption of the Lake Erie Wine Country Trail designation to market locally crafted wines and to expand tourism.
The New York Farm Bureau, the state's largest general farm advocacy organization, works closely with the state legislature to strengthen and enhance the agricultural industry in New York state.
This year's legislative session proved to be a challenging one for farmers, but with significant support from key legislators such as Senator Young and Assemblymen Goodell, agriculture will continue to be one of New York's most important industries.