Dean Norton, president of New York farm Bureau, released the following statement on Monday:
"New York Farm Bureau applauds the action taken by New York lawmakers today to improve conditions for farming in this state. Spearheaded by Senate Agriculture Chair Patty Ritchie, the Senate passed a number of key provisions in its budget resolution, including the 2 percent cap on agriculture land assessment, additional funding for important research initiatives, and new promotion dollars to market apples, wine, maple products and Christmas trees.
"In addition, the Senate and the Assembly also provided additional dollars for the Farm Viability Institute and Farm Net. Both programs provide essential services for farmers looking to grow their farms.
"We look forward to continue working with Senator Ritchie and Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Bill Magee on a host of New York Farm Bureau priorities this legislative session, including moving the estate tax threshold to $5 million to mirror the federal level. It is imperative for our lawmakers to support agriculture, a leading job generator in this state that provides healthy, local food to consumers.
"The legislative actions are in conjunction with Gov. Cuomo's budget proposal that took many positive steps to recognize the importance of agriculture in this state, including his innovative Taste of NY plan and increased funding for environmental programs that will assist farmers in continuing their long legacy of caring for the land and water."