New York’s Farms Deserve Better

Yesterday, the State Assembly passed the “Farm Worker Fair Labor Practices Act” (A.1792a).  Without getting into the weeds to much on this legislation, it basically would impose factory style labor mandates on family farms.  Those very farms that have faced increased scrutiny and over-regulation from both the state and federal level in recent years.  Those very farms that have dealt with devastating weather events that have crippled and curtailed production. Those very farms that already are dealing with a narrow profit margin and can ill afford new and costly mandates.

Consider the impact farming has on New York’s economy.

  • New York is among the top producers of apples in the U.S.
  • New York is a leading dairy producer.
  • New York ranks in the top five in terms of production in a variety of other products such as maple syrup, cherries and cabbage.
  • This production yields an average of more than $3 billion into the state’s economy.

And none of the above is taking into consideration the emerging success of greek yogurt, farm distilleries and wineries here in New York.

So why would any lawmaker (and in this case, NYC and downstate lawmakers are pushing this bill) deem it necessary to stifle such a valuable piece of New York’s economy?

The New York Farm Bureau has been steadfast in defeating this legislation and NFIB/NY is proud to stand with them.  To stand up for our farmers and protect our communities and economic future.

Throughout this legislative session, a New York City dominated legislative agenda has run rampant here in Albany, threatening small businesses, taxpayers and our fragile economic recovery.  We cannot allow them to do the same to our farms.  NFIB/NY strongly urges the State Senate and the Governor to resist this unnecessary batch of new mandates and help our farmers sustain and grow.

Think this is just spin…check out this video produced by the New York Farm Bureau and hear from actual farmers..

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About Mike Durant

Mike Durant was named New York State Director of NFIB in May 2011. Prior to joining NFIB as the Assistant State Director in May 2010, Durant began his career in the New York Senate working in the Office of Member Services. From there, he served in a number of positions during former New York Governor George E. Pataki’s administration. As a Research Specialist in the New York State Office of Demographic Policy, Mike was responsible for drafting a redistricting proposal for Governor Pataki. In addition, Mike served as a Research Specialist for the Empire State Development Corporation, as well as the Associate Commissioner of Human Resource Management with the New York Department of Labor. Durant also spent four years working at the Questar III BOCES as a specialist focusing on the complex formulas that drive aid to school districts across the state while also taking a lead role in the state legislative/budget process as it related to education policy. These past positions have given Mike a deep understanding of the complex political economics of the State of New York. Active in the community, Durant has served on a number of boards in both the village of Ballston Spa and Town of Milton. Durant received his bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Loudonville, New York and resides in Ballston Spa with his wife and two children.
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