To the editor:
Farmers across New York, including in the North Country, are battling Mother Nature yet again. From last summer's floods to the devastating spring frost for our fruit growers to the drought conditions going on right now, the constant uncertainty of having a season's worth of work wiped out is a reality farmers live with every year. The weather woes are also a sobering reminder of the importance of having adequate protection in the 2012 Farm Bill that New York Farm Bureau is anxiously hoping moves to the House floor for a vote before the current Farm Bill expires at the end of September.
Rep. Bill Owens worked hard in a bipartisan fashion on the House Agriculture Committee to provide the fair protections New York farmers need to keep growing the quality, local food people want. This includes moving to a new safety net for dairy farmers and crop insurance programs previously unavailable to most of the state's specialty crops. Rep. Owens was also able to secure a provision axing an inspection fee for large apple exports to Canada that the Canadian government does not even require. This alone will save our apple growers nearly a half-million dollars every year. He also amended the bill to allow family farms access to federal agriculture loans. And with the current Farm Bill expiring in a matter of weeks, he joined his colleagues from both parties in signing a letter putting pressure on House leadership to vote on the 2012 Farm Bill before they head home from Washington for a month-long recess.
New York Farm Bureau looks forward to working with Rep. Owens as he uses his influence to fight hard for the farmers who feed the citizens of New York.
New York Farm Bureau