Hanna touts benefits of Farm Bill for upstate NY farmers

Feb 7, 2014

President Barack Obama signed the Farm Bill into law Friday, after four years of failed attempts to pass one. Rep. Richard Hanna says the bill will give economic stability to farmers in the upstate New York.

Hanna toured the Dutch Hill Creamery in Chenango Forks Friday morning and said the new Farm Bill will have a great impact on farmers in the state. And that New York state should focus more on the potential benefits of expanded farming.

"Even though we’ve seen the flight of a lot of young people. We’ve seen the flight of businesses. One of the assets we really do have, are great farms, great farmers, and a growing demand of agricultural products,” said Hanna.

The Republican congressman says the bill includes programs to assist beginning farmers by providing discounted crop insurance and credit opportunities, and programs to help farmers market their products.

The final version cuts food stamps by $8 billion. Hanna says most Republicans wanted a far larger reduction.

“There was a proposal to cut $40 billion. I was, I think, one of four, five, or six members who did not support that. I thought it was too severe.”

A crop insurance program was also created to replace direct payments to farmers.

Hanna represents a district that stretches from Utica to Binghamton, and is running for reelection in November.