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December 21, 2014
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editorial

Helping New York’s farms helps us all


New York State’s economy would benefit. Agriculture, already an important economic engine for NYS, has the potential to become an even more powerful economic driver statewide, with 20% of the U.S. population lying within an easy drive of our NYS farms. Markets for farm-fresh food in large metropolitan areas throughout the Northeast will only continue to grow in the years ahead.

Consumers would benefit. As the benefits of this kind of legislation help farmers expand their operations (or draw new young farmers to the land to meet the demand of the farm-to-consumer food movement), consumers will find increased supply of the products they are seeking.

Finally, the environment would benefit. Agriculture is the fifth largest producer of greenhouse gases (behind electric utilities, transportation, industry and the commercial/residential sector). By focusing not only on agriculture and energy, part of the proposed legislation will promote the growth of the renewable energy industry in general and the agricultural industry in particular.

These proposals are win-win and deserve to become law.