Grown in New York

As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I was proud to co-sponsor legislation, now law, to place a two-percent cap on annual agricultural land assessment increases and deliver long-awaited and badly needed property tax relief to state farmers.

Grown in New York

A member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator O’Mara has worked with his Senate Republican Majority colleagues to put in place a comprehensive “Grown in New York” agricultural development strategy over the past several years.

This new law was a cornerstone of “Grown in New York,” a comprehensive economic development strategy for New York State agriculture unveiled by me and my Senate colleagues in early 2013 and continually updated, session after session, since then.

It has achieved a range of important actions, from tax relief and regulatory reforms, to support for longstanding and critical agriculture programs and services (so many of which are developed and delivered by Cornell University), assistance for beginning farmers to address the challenge of aging farmers and need to encourage the next generation and, this year, an initiative to attract veterans into farming.

I was also pleased to recently help announce the initial recommendations for a New York State Pollinator Protection Plan. It may not be the first challenge that comes to mind when you think about agriculture, but believe me it is a critical agricultural, environmental and economic concern.

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Senator O’Mara joined other state and local leaders at Cornell University’s Dyce Lab to help announce the beginning of New York’s “Pollinator Protection Plan.”

I’ll keep fighting for action on other provisions of our “Grown in New York” plan, which focuses on tax cuts, regulatory reform, market expansion and a series of other economic growth initiatives. We need to keep taking actions that keep our farmers competitive for the long haul. We can’t risk New York State’s farmers being taxed, regulated and priced out of business.

The ‘Grown in New York’ plan is a bold, common sense blueprint to keep New York a proud and strong agricultural state. Farming has been a mainstay of upstate New York’s culture and economy for centuries, and it remains the backbone of many of our communities. But the challenges and the competition are tougher than ever.

In particular, I was proud to sponsor legislation enacted this session that continue to advance commonsense, long-overdue regulatory reforms to continue to spark growth in our world-class wine industry, and encourage the rapid growth in the number of craft brewers, cideries and distilleries which have become such vital economic growth engines across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions.

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Senator O’Mara believes that the regulatory reform success which has been achieved within the agricultural industry should serve as a model for how cutting red tape and eliminating unnecessary state rules and regulations could help jumpstart turnarounds in other industries, especially manufacturing. Here he joins colleagues in Corning for a hearing to gather regulatory reform ideas within the manufacturing sector.

I strongly believe and will continue to promote idea that the success of regulatory reform within this sector of the agricultural industry should serve as a model for what regulatory reform could achieve if applied other sectors of New York State’s private sector economy.

Assemblywoman Lupardo and I also continue to work together to secure a strong position for New York State’s in the nation’s growing industrial hemp manufacturing industry — which holds out promising opportunities for many state farmers to diversify and seek new economic opportunities.  Important action was taken toward reaching this goal with the enactment of legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Lupardo and myself this session.