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.
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.
A coalition of New York state environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the state’s environmental regulators in July. The groups claim that the Department of Environmental Conservation violated environmental law when it loosened the regulation of dairy farms. The result is that the state’s very public support of the yogurt industry may have hit a roadblock.
During a highly publicized Yogurt Summit last year in Albany, Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised the spirit behind the industry in New York.
“When you see an opportunity, grab it and get it done,” Cuomo said.
The New York Farm Bureau is optimistic following news that Congress is working to pass new immigration reforms. The bureau, a lobbying group, says it was very excited to hear the proposals made by a bipartisan group of senators and by President Barack Obama this week.