AFT Statement on Governor Kathy Hochul’s State of the State Highlights for New York Agriculture
This statement can be attributed to Mikaela Perry, New York Policy Manager, American Farmland Trust
On Tuesday, January 10th Gov. Kathy Hochul, New York’s first-elected female governor, delivered her State of the State Address to broadly define the 2023 legislative agenda for New York agriculture. American Farmland Trust applauds Gov. Hochul’s commitment to supporting the health, safety, and wellbeing of New Yorkers, which includes our farmers and food system workers. AFT is encouraged by efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring that New York’s farms will have the support and capital necessary to transition to climate smart agricultural practices. AFT also applauds the Governor’s continued support of a new and diverse generation of farmers, especially through farm to institution and state-agency procurement programs, coordinated agricultural education, and investment in critical infrastructure, such as scratch cooking facilities for schools.
If enacted, these actions and investments will help farmers access more market opportunities and increase food system resiliency between upstate and downstate communities; provide equitable access to nutritious, local meals to over two million students; and build on-farm resilience to the impact of extreme weather, while supporting farmers to help mitigate climate change and offering a pathway to protect more of New York’s valuable farmland. Access to land, farm viability, and infrastructure are critical to strengthening our resilient food supply chain and foundational to other priorities outlined by Gov. Hochul.
AFT looks forward to seeing further details in the executive budget proposal and working with the Governor and the legislature this year to support investments and actions that will strengthen farm to school and increase access to fresh, local food for all New Yorkers, bring a diverse new generation of farmers onto the land, and help more New York farmers permanently protect their land and adopt climate smart practices.
American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families.