Farm Bill

6:56am

Mon March 31, 2014
Agriculture

Schumer calls on USDA to assist upstate dairy farmers with Farm Bill

fishhawk Flickr

Sen. Charles Schumer is calling on the United States Department of Agriculture to help dairy farmers in central New York sort through the recently passed Farm Bill. During a stop in Chenango County recently, Schumer said the updated milk portion of the bill is good for farmers, but confusing.

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8:16am

Tue February 18, 2014
Agriculture

New Farm Bill makes transition to organic dairy farming easier

publicenergy Flickr

For farmers in upstate New York, going organic isn’t easy. But one farmer who’s made the switch is happy that the new Farm Bill will make it easier to transition from traditional to organic farming in the future.

Ben Simons has been a dairy farmer in Remsen for two decades. Two years ago, he decided to convert his operation over to an organic dairy.

"Because I did not want to expand my dairy anymore," Simons says. "It was very difficult to stay a small family farm and compete with conventional milk.”

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6:57am

Fri February 14, 2014
Agriculture

Hanna says Farm Bill gets a lot right, but doesn't address everything

Rep. Hanna tours Hood Dairy in Oneida
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Rep. Richard Hanna and central New York farmers celebrated the passage of the Farm Bill, with a tour of a Madison County Dairy producer Thursday.  

At the Hood Dairy in Oneida, Hanna ticked off the things in the Farm Bill that will help upstate New York farmers: the five-year bill provides stability for farmers; it transitions farmers to a more modern dairy support program; it expands crop insurance, offers more support for organic farming, and help to young farmers who want to get in the business.

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3:09pm

Fri February 7, 2014
Agriculture

Hanna touts benefits of Farm Bill for upstate NY farmers

Matt Richmond WSKG

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.

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2:59pm

Fri February 7, 2014
Environment

Upstate communities tackle pollution in the Genesee River

Algae on Ontario Beach outside of Rochester on Lake Ontario
Center for Environmental Initiatives

Community members from across western New York came together in Rochester Thursday to address the issue of pollution in the Genesee River, and create an action plan for the immediate future.

The summit, run by the Center for Environmental Initiatives, was spurred by a new study which suggests human activity along the Genesee River Basin is having a direct impact on the water quality in Lake Ontario.

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5:33am

Wed January 29, 2014
Agriculture

Schumer says Farm Bill deal good for New York farmers

Ian Lamont Flickr

New York Sen. Charles Schumer says it’s “a good day” for upstate New York farmers now that there is a deal in the House of Representatives and Senate for a Farm Bill.

Congress is expected to begin voting on the bill later today. The five year farm bill, agreed upon in committees on Monday, reduces crop subsidies and increases crop insurance.

Farm Bills were first written during the Great Depression. This latest one took two years of negotiation.

Schumer, a Democrat, says the bill is especially good for small dairy farmers and maple sugar tappers in New York.

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3:06pm

Wed January 22, 2014
Agriculture

Farmers express concern about immigration policies, lack of Farm Bill

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-NY) listens to farmers' concerns at a recent roundtable.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The central New York agriculture community got a chance to get the ear of Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) this week, highlighting several areas where action by the federal government could help farmers and food processors do their jobs.

Topic number one on the agriculture agenda is to urge Congress to pass the Farm Bill, that’s been languishing in Congress for two years. Bill Byrne of Byrne Dairy is optimistic as lawmakers seem to be reaching consensus on the dairy policy in the Farm Bill, one of the big sticking points.

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5:07pm

Mon December 9, 2013
Politics and Government

Maffei says partisan politics hurting Farm Bill legislation

Ian Lamont Flickr

Farmers aren't the only ones worrying about Congress' failure to come to an agreement on the Farm Bill. Syracuse-area Rep. Dan Maffei says partisan politics have gotten in the way, and are hurting Congress' ability to move legislation forward.

Maffei says the Farm Bill, and the legislation connected to it, which includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, should be passed, though both Republicans and Democrats need to compromise on their positions.

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8:25am

Thu December 5, 2013
Agriculture

Farmers say mounting state and federal paperwork is hurting business

File photo
Ian Lamont Flickr

Farmers across New York state converged in central New York for the State Farm Bureau’s annual meeting this week.  According to those at the meeting, the biggest problem these farmers face is too much paperwork.

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7:29am

Wed October 2, 2013
Agriculture

Farm Bill expiration worries New York's farmers

Doug Kerr Flickr

While the focus has been on the partial federal government shut down, another important piece of legislation, the federal farm bill, has also expired.

New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton said this is the third time in three years he’s seen negotiations go down to the wire and beyond on farm legislation that regulates crop subsidies, milk prices, and nutrition programs.

"It’s like déjà vu all over again," Norton said in a statement.

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7:31am

Fri June 7, 2013
Agriculture

Amendment to Farm Bill could help boost upstate milk production

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., wants to create a dairy block grant program.
Matt Richmond WSKG

The five year Farm Bill, likely to pass a vote in the U.S. Senate next Monday, includes an amendment from New York Sen. Charles Schumer that attempts to address rising demand for milk.

Schumer says the amendment could help New York’s dairy farmers supply a fast-growing yogurt industry.

It would create a $5 million pilot program aimed at helping small dairy farms access technical help for  things like animal nutrition and business planning.

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2:35pm

Mon December 31, 2012
Politics

Deal reached to stop the $6 gallon of milk

A deal is on the table to stop milk prices from rising to $6 a gallon.
Credit wander.lust / via Flickr

Congress seems to have reached a deal to stop milk prices from rising to a warned about $6 a gallon in the New Year, but it's unclear if it will be voted on before the end of 2012.

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4:55pm

Wed September 19, 2012
Politics and Government

Buerkle hopes for a farm bill extension

Central New York Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle is concerned that the House of Representatives has not yet passed a farm bill. The current one is scheduled to expire September 30, but Congress is scheduled to finish its work this week and passage of a farm bill does not look likely.

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4:17pm

Thu September 6, 2012
Politics

Owens and Doheny debate agricultural issues

Democrat Congressman Bill Owens from Plattsburgh says passage of the federal farm bill that has stalled in Washington is one of his top priorities.

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4:18pm

Wed July 11, 2012
Politics and Government

Schumer fights for a provision to the farm bill

Doug Kerr Flickr

New York Senator Charles Schumer called on the House of Representatives to pass a provision of the farm bill that he says would allow more grants and loans for more than 60 rural upstate New York communities.

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4:41pm

Wed June 6, 2012
Regional Coverage

Senator Charles Schumer backs farmers after spring frost

Ian Lamont Flickr

Senator Charles Schumer is backing changes to this year’s farm bill that he says would better protect local farmers in the future from damages like those caused by this spring’s frost.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture today declared many upstate New York farms are now eligible for federal aid from those frosts.

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