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Priority Issues for 2022

New York Farm Bureau works every day to advocate for agricultural industry and our rural communities. We identify key issues that directly and indirectly impact agriculture through a structured, grassroots policy development process that reflects the collective interests of our members. These policies determine the focus of our advocacy discussion and action for the year ahead.

New York Farm Bureau's Board of Directors has established the following state and national priority issues for 2021:

2022 State Priorities

  • Double the Agricultural Workforce Retention Tax Credit 
  • Establish a refundable investment tax credit for agriculture 
  • Support critical funding for current agricultural animal health (such as the Avian Disease Program), promotion, research, and environmental programs in the final FY 22/23 state budget, including a $500 million Environmental Protection Fund.
  • Support legislation that adjusts New York's unemployment insurance employer contribution rate, which would allow New York to replenish the UI trust fund without overburdening businesses with high UI tax bills as they recover from the pandemic. 
  • Support legislation allowing direct to consumer shipping for all New York-produced farm beverages, including beer, cider, and distillates. 
  • Support farmers in their efforts to adapt to and mitigate climate change through funding of critical programs in the Environmental Protection Fund and legislative programs that support on-farm renewable energy. 
  • Support the development of solar energy that balances private property rights and the current and future land needs of agriculture in the state. Whenever possible, prime soils and actively farmed lands should be avoided in favor of previously disturbed or fallow lands and rooftop development for distributed generation. 
  • Support investment in new meat, vegetable, fruit and seafood processing facilities in New York. 
  • Oppose legislation that prohibits the use of agricultural pesticides. 
  • Oppose Extended Producer Responsibility legislation that doesn’t require consumer responsibility for packaging they receive. 
  • Ensure a common-sense resolution to DEC’s water withdrawal regulatory actions for farms. 
  • Pursue legislation that would require utilities to maintain a minimum height of 20 feet for power lines and 18 feet for other lines over farm fields upon request of landowner or farmer who is leasing the land.

2021 National Priorities

New York Farm Bureau will continue to build relationships to educate and work with members of Congress and regulatory agencies to promote policies that benefit New York farmers and rural communities as well increase awareness of issues important to agriculture.

Agricultural Labor

  • Enact legislation that helps farmers address their short- and long-term labor needs.
  • Allows current, trained workers to stay on farms and maintain a consistent workforce to plant and harvest crops, and care for livestock.
  • Modernize the H-2A program to ensure a continuous, legal workforce for all sectors of agriculture.  
  • Update H-2A rules to enhance farmers’ ability to hire the workers they need.

Sustainability and Climate

  • Ensure that environmental sustainability efforts also provide economic sustainability for farmers.
  • Provide voluntary, market-based incentive tools and technical assistance for farmers and foresters to enhance carbon sequestration, climate-smart conservation practices and other greenhouse gas emissions reductions using scientifically sound standards.
  • Foster the development of private sector ecosystem services markets.
  • Increase public awareness of agricultural advances in conservation and climate-smart practices.

 Supply Chain

  • Identify and pursue regulatory and administrative actions that decrease port congestion, reduce barriers to employment, speed up transportation of goods via rail and highway, and ease inflationary pressures.
  • Expand agricultural processing capacity and enhance market transparency.
  • Provide support to small meat processing plants to attain federal inspection and expand capacity.
  • Ensure access to agricultural inputs (agricultural chemicals and fertilizers) through proactive trade policies and science-based environmental assessments of chemical registrations.

Farm Policy

  • Surface proposals for inclusion in the 2023 Farm Bill.
  • Set the stage for bipartisan farm bill discussions.

 Dairy Pricing

  • Examine and review methods to restructure and modernize the current Federal Milk Marketing Order system.
  • Ensure dairy farm families across the country have a voice – and a vote – when considering how to modernize these orders.

Regulations

  • Continue to work for a regulatory environment that enables farmers to be productive as well as environmentally and economically sustainable.
  • Defend recent improvements to environmental regulations including the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and National Environmental Policy Act procedural updates.
  • Ensure enforcement of organic standards including those related to livestock.
  • Guarantee that the agricultural water testing requirements under the Produce Safety Rule are achievable for farmers.
  • Work for reform of decision making and appeals related to conservation compliance (Swampbuster) rules.
  • Ensure that renewable energy sources such as domestic-grown biofuels are utilized to their full potential.
  • Monitor rules and practices dealing with labeling of food and agricultural products, including milk, cell-based products and foods containing ingredients that are products of biotechnology.
  • Work with USDA to ensure contracted conservation practices that fail, within the lifespan of the practice, be eligible for additional cost share funds.

 Rural Life and Health

  • Increase awareness of mental health resources and encourage broader availability of agriculture-specific assistance.
  • Support legislation and policies to provide stress assistance programs and resources to farmers, increase farmer-facing training opportunities, increase awareness and reduce stigma for rural mental health issues.

Infrastructure

  • Increase resources to expand rural access to reliable, high-speed broadband service.
  • Ensure the timely rollout of authorized infrastructure funds and ensure resources are responsibly and efficiently allocated to rebuild, repair and modernize transportation infrastructure, including rural roads and bridges, ports, inland waterway locks and dams.
  • Increase federal investment in agricultural research.

 Taxes

  • Secure permanent estate tax and capital gains tax law that allows family-owned farms to transfer from one generation to another.
  • Make low-income tax rates and business deductions permanent to permit farmers to keep more of their earnings and invest in their businesses.
  • Lock in tax code provisions that allow farm and ranch operations to match expenses with income so they can manage the seasonal and cyclical nature of their businesses.

Trade

  • Expand trade opportunities for New York agriculture and reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade.
  • Encourage the U.S. to join the Comprehensive & Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership agreement.
  • Maintain the China Phase 1 agreement and ensure it is implemented.
  • Seek continued implementation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, including produce plan implementation.
  • Engage in trade negotiations with the United Kingdom and other nations.
  • Advance reform of the World Trade Organization.