Hopewell Junction, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, hosted a roundtable discussion at Fishkill Farms with local farmers and producers today as part of a statewide agriculture listening tour. Senator Gillibrand listened to concerns raised by farmers and producers to get their input on how to make the next Farm Bill as helpful as possible to the agriculture industry in the Hudson Valley.
“I’m grateful to all of the farmers and dairy producers who participated in this important and productive conversation today about agriculture in the Hudson Valley,” said Senator Gillibrand, the first Senator from New York to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 40 years. “The next Farm Bill is still two years away, but we must address our farmers’ current problems while looking forward to make the Farm Bill as strong as possible. It is crucial that the agriculture community continues to speak out and share their concerns, and that we listen to them so that we can come up with good solutions to ensure our farms prosper. I look forward to having more conversations just like this in the months ahead.”
“As a third generation family farmer, and on behalf of the entire Hudson Valley farming community, I’d like to thank Senator Gillibrand for her great work on the Senate Agriculture Committee, and for taking the time out of a busy schedule to hear what’s important to us today,” said Josh Morgenthau, Owner/Operator, Fishkill Farms. “The survival of farming in the Hudson Valley is a matter of food and economic security for all New Yorkers. Progress has been made, but with higher labor costs, less federal/state support, and more development pressure than other farming regions, our farms continue to go out of business. The next farm bill will cover issues critical to us, from labor and immigration to crop insurance and conservation funding. Senator Gillibrand has shown her commitment to fighting for reform in these areas. With her on our side, I believe the needle can be swung further in the right direction, until we see a time when farms in the valley are again on a path to prosperity and long-term sustainability.”
“We appreciate the value Senator Gillibrand brings to the farmers and local food system in New York by serving on the Senate Agriculture Committee,” said Todd M. Erling, Executive Director, Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corp. “We fully support her efforts to begin crafting new Farm Bill language that will benefit NY farmers and for reaching out to them to hear their perspectives. We look forward to implementing Farm Bill programs to meet their needs moving forward.”
“There are many crucial issues facing Hudson Valley farmers today, from labor to the upcoming Farm Bill,” said Mark Adams, President, Dutchess County Farm Bureau. “We appreciate Senator Gillibrand taking the time to sit down with local farmers to discuss topics that are so important for our New York farmers and the people who depend on high quality local products.”
“The Farm Bill presents a critical opportunity for strengthening ecologically resilient agriculture and supporting the next generation of farmers in our region and across this country,” said Sarah Brannen, Associate Director, Local Economies Project. “We are fortunate to have Senator Gillibrand as a champion for Hudson Valley agriculture in Congress and thank her for fostering important dialog through this roundtable to hear the needs of our regional farmers.”