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State agencies have $1 million to assist new farmers

Posted 16 October 2018 at 8:47 pm

Press Release, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets

Empire State Development and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets announced $1 million in funding is available to assist early-stage farmers through the New York State New Farmers Grant Fund.

The program, now in its fifth year, promotes growth and development in the state’s agriculture industry. To date, $3.27 million has been awarded to nearly 90 farms throughout New York State to expand their operations and improve their profitability.

The $1 million New Farmers Grant Fund will provide grants of up to $50,000 to assist with up to 50 percent of eligible project costs. To qualify, all farm business owners must be within the first 10 years of having an ownership interest in any farm business, and the farm must have a minimum of $10,000 in income from sales of products grown or raised on the farm. Eligible project costs include the purchase of machinery, equipment, supplies, and the construction or improvement of agricultural structures.

“Agriculture is vital to New York State’s economy, and the New Farmers Grant Fund supports our early stage farmers by promoting projects that increase overall farm profitability and ensure sustainability of farming operations,” said ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky.

Applications and guidelines for the New Farmers Grant Fund are available by clicking here. The deadline for submission is January 25, 2019.

New farmers are a critical piece of the overall agricultural landscape in the State and the future of the industry. To further support the State’s new and beginning farmers, the Department of Agriculture & Markets launched a New and Beginning Farmer One Stop Shop in 2017. The web-based resource helps new and beginning farmers connect to the resources and services that can help their businesses thrive. Information can be found by clicking here.

“The New Farmers Grant Fund encourages young people and those seeking second careers to pursue a livelihood that is not always easy but always rewarding,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball.

New York State is home to 36,000 farms that are top producers of more than 30 commodities, including apples, grapes, snap beans, maple products and dairy. New York’s dairy industry is the largest sector of the state’s agricultural industry, accounting for approximately one-half of its on-farm production, support services and value-added products.

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LynOaken, Chamber’s Agricultural Business of the Year, continues to diversify and make upgrades

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Wendy Oakes Wilson and her brother Darrel Oakes stand next to the tractor which takes wagons full of visitors through the orchards and vineyard at LynOaken on the Ridge. The family farm will be honored by the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce as Agricultural Business of the Year at the annual awards dinner Thursday night at White Birch Golf Club.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 15 October 2018 at 10:21 am

MEDINA – Darrel Oakes and his sister Wendy Oakes Wilson are the third generation to operate the family farm started by their grandfather Leonard Oakes in 1919.

On Thursday evening, LynOaken Farms will be honored as the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce’s Agricultural Business of the Year.

File photo by Tom Rivers: Chris Oakes, orchard manager at LynOaken Farms and the fourth generation to work on the farm, holds a Redfield apple, a variety that was developed in 1938. The apple has a red flesh and pink seeds. It’s one of the heirloom varieties in a U-Pick orchard at the farm.

The award is not only a tremendous honor, but a perfect preview of the events leading up to celebration of LynOaken Farms 100th anniversary next year, Wilson said.

“We don’t know who nominated us for the award, but we were pleasantly shocked and honored,” Wilson said. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Leonard Oakes had just gotten certified in poultry service from Cornell when he purchased land at the corner of Alps and Platten roads in the town of Yates.

“There were apple trees on it, but he wanted to raise chickens,” Wilson said. “He also had row crops, tart cherries and cucumbers.”

When Leonard died in 1951, his son James and new wife Wanda came back from Purdue to run the farm.

“Wanda was just pregnant with Darrel at the time,” Wilson said. “Our father was not into raising livestock and poultry, but was more interested in fruit, so he started planting cherries, apples and peaches.”

James ran the farm until the early 1980s, when Darrel took over.

Wilson at the time was still a teenager. She graduated from high school and went to the University of Michigan, intending to pursue a career in international business. She spent a year in Brazil and a year in Spain as an exchange student.

When Darrel offered her a position on the farm as treasurer and head of sales, she accepted.

Wendy Oakes Wilson pours a glass of wine in the wine tasting room at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, 10609 Ridge Rd., Medina. LynOaken Farms, run by the Oakes family, has been named Orleans County Chamber of Commerce’s Agricultural Business of the Year.

She is to first to admit she does not have a green thumb and the only thing she has been able to nourish is her husband and son.

“I’m the first employee who is not responsible for anything in the orchards,” she said. “But what I brought to the table was experience in business and accounting, and the ability to sell.”

In addition to the home farm in Lyndonville, the Oakes branched out to Ridge Road, Medina, where they opened a market and gift shop. Since Wilson joined her brother, they have a presence in 90 different locations in Western and Central New York where they sell apples and peaches.

File photo: Jonathan Oakes, the wine maker at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, serves up some Steampunk Cider from the tasting room in August 2014 during the annual Steampunk Festival at the winery. Oakes dressed up for the festival.

In 2004, they built a controlled atmosphere storage; in 2008 they planted a heritage U-pick orchard with 300 varieties and started a winery; in 2013, they began picking in the heritage orchard and added a pavilion to the property.

This year they have built a new packing facility, which will be up and running in a few weeks and will allow Oakes to do six times more what they currently do, Wilson said. It will also allow them to facilitate the promotion of private label to retailers and to sort peaches on that line as well.

Leonard Oakes Estate Winery will also be operating a new tasting room, called Bar Cultivar, at the Barrel Factory in Buffalo’s Old First Ward.

The Oakes are not content to rest on their laurels, and are talking about expanding the U-pick orchards and remodeling, expanding and repurposing the existing retail building to take advantage of new opportunities, Wilson said.

From Leonard Oakes’ one-main operation in 1919, the family operation grew to seven full-time employees in 2001 and 28 full-time year-round now. Eighty-nine are currently employed during the peak harvest.

The fourth generation of Oakes are heavily involved in the business.

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Chamber’s Business Person of the Year is dedicated to farmers’ market in Medina

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Gail Miller, left, checks out the pumpkins at Maggie Roberts’ stand at the Canal Village Farmers’ Market. Miller has been the volunteer coordinator for the market since it opened in 2015. She has been named Business Person of the Year by the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce for her efforts.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 10 October 2018 at 8:40 am

MEDINA – When Gail Miller retired in 2013 as a business analyst for IBM, she wasn’t planning on going back to work.

But that’s exactly what she did – as volunteer coordinator of Medina ’s Canal Village Farmers’ Market.

Her efforts in developing the market, securing vendors and promoting local agriculture have earned her the distinction of Orleans County Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year. She will be recognized with the other Chamber honorees on Oct. 18 at the White Birch Country Club in Lyndonville.

“I was on the board of the Orleans County Farmers’ Market, and when it quit, I thought it was a shame,” Miller said. “I mentioned it to several people, including Cindy Robinson, who said she would be willing to help get another market going. I must admit, it was more work than I thought it would be, but it has been well worth it.”

Miller is at the market, which operates in the former bank lot on the corner of West Avenue and West Center Street, every Saturday morning. The lot is owned by the Orleans Renaissance Group, which sponsors the market.

File photo by Tom Rivers: Gail Miller strives to make the market a fun place. She wore an Angry Bird costume in 2015 near Halloween. She is pictured with Chris Busch, chairman of the Orleans Renaissance Group, which oversees the farmers’ market.

In July 2015, the new market opened with eight vendors. There are now 20 on most Saturdays, who offer a variety of products, such as sausage, pork, chemical free and heirloom produce, dehydrated mixes, vegan food, baked goods, poultry, flour and maple syrup.

There are also vendors with children’s books and wineries who rotate every Saturday. A Canal Kids’ Tent provides games, puzzles, chalk art and free books to children.

“While our goal is to have farm-based products, we try to build on that and have a variety,” Miller said. “We have a different artist every week, who might do pottery, needlework or painting. It’s like a part-time job, and if it wasn’t for my husband helping me, I would be spending hours every day.”

They provide a community tent for non-profits to use each week. A recent week it was used by the Knights-Kaderli Fund to promote their annual walk/run. Another week, it might be yoga demonstrations.

Miller said she couldn’t believe it when she learned she had been recognized by the Chamber.

“I don’t think of myself as a business person, but more of a coordinator to help other people reach their goal, while helping the community get good, healthy and home-grown food,” she said.

She credits Chris Busch, the ORG chairman, for his work with the market, especially doing all the advertising, and eight other volunteers.

Miller is an active member of her community in other ways, as well.

She is membership chairman for the Medina Historical Society, a volunteer for the Parade of Lights and a member of Medina hospital’s Honeysuckle Twig.

Miller grew up in Cambria on her family’s crop farm, where she worked.

“While I am honored by the Chamber award, it is a tribute to the market and all its vendors,” she said. “It’s been a group effort.”

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Apples have been big business in Orleans County since the 1800s

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 6 October 2018 at 8:49 am

“Overlooked Orleans” – Vol. 4, No. 40

KNOWLESVILLE – October is National Apple Month! This photograph, likely taken in the latter quarter of the 19th century, shows the New York Central Railroad Depot located at Knowlesville. This particular image was taken east of the Rt. 31 Bridge that crosses over the railroad tracks; the photographer has pointed his camera to the southeast. A number of horse-drawn wagons are pulling loads of apples to be loaded into refrigerator cars positioned along the tracks.

In the earliest years of the county’s history, wheat was the primary product shipped out of the area. The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 drastically cut shipping rates for grains and produce, but demands for apples increased gradually starting around 1845. That increase in demand led Isaac Signor to include the following account of apple orchards in Landmarks of Orleans County, New York published in 1894;

“The fruit has flourished exceedingly in most parts of the county, the climatic influence of the winds, which from the north, northwest, and northeast, pass over open water before striking this territory, becoming thereby tempered and raising the average of winter temperature, and at the same time serving as protection against late spring and early autumn frosts. The atmosphere of the county is also comparatively dry and the rainfall light, while the cool autumn winds from the lake region retard the ripening of winter fruits, greatly enhancing the value of the apples.”

This value averaged around $1.50 per barrel at the time Signor published this account. Several years earlier prices per barrel hovered around $1.40, but the Medina Daily Register published a rather unusual account of apple sales near Knowlesville. In October of 1891, produce dealers in Medina were offering farmers around $1.40 per barrel while apple “sharks” in Knowlesville “had the gall” to offer farmers $1.00 per barrel. A handful of unknowing farmers sold their apples to the deceitful dealers, but the majority hauled their load to Medina to cash in on the fair price.

Another local farmer drove to Knowlesville “…with a lot of apples in the saddest collection of barrels ever used to pack fruit in. The barrels had been stored away in the hen coop for a number of years and the hens had used them as a roosting place. They were of the poorest quality when new and were full of holes which the great-souled farmer had covered by nailing shingles over them.” The “sharks” refused to pay the farmer the $1.00 per barrel rate they had offered the others. Rather incensed, the farmer told his wife’s cousin of his misfortune and the latter chose to “…jump on the Knowlesville fruit buyers…” The verbal scolding encouraged one dealer to offer “…a trifle more than the even dollar.”

Fluctuations in crop yield could produce gains upwards of $1 million or cause near-failure for area farmers. The 1896 growing season saw one of the most fruitful harvests in local history, increasing shipments out of the county while driving up demands for barrels. John Higgins of Knowlesville operated a nearby cooperage and recalled manufacturing over 52,000 barrels in the height of that demand.

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Pumpkins, paint and cider as Albion FFA hosts annual Fall Festival

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 October 2018 at 3:05 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Emery Vick, an Albion kindergartner, paints a pumpkin today as part of the Albion FFA Fall Festival. About 500 elementary students have been part of the festival the past two days.

Students were able to paint a pumpkin that will be theirs to bring home. Some of the pumpkins were grown at the Albion FFA Land Lab while others were donated by Panek Farms.

Nesbitt Farms also donated apples and cider and Mayer Brothers contributed donuts.

Janet Husung, a long-term sub as a kindergarten teacher, takes a photo of her class in front of a combine that was brought to the school by Kenny Haylett. FFA members Alex Rustay and Mitchell Knaak are up high near the cab of the combine.

Wyatt Ernst, a kindergarten student, is pleased with the painting progress on his pumpkin.

FFA members Alex Rustay, Mitchell Knaak and Harrison Brown wait for the next group of students.

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NY takes steps to fight spread of spotted lanternfly, which is a threat to agriculture

Posted 2 October 2018 at 2:18 pm

New quarantine will restrict movement of goods brought into NY from 4 states

Press Release, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets

Photo by Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is implementing new actions to protect New York, and its surrounding states, from the establishment of the invasive spotted lanternfly.

The Department, working in collaboration with the State Department of Environmental Conservation, issued a quarantine that will restrict the movement of certain goods brought into New York from Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, states impacted by the spotted lanternfly. The first SLF findings were reported earlier this month in New York State in Yates and Albany counties.

“The spotted lanternfly is a major concern for us when it comes to our agricultural crops and our forest land, so we can’t take any chances that this invasive species will become established here in New York State,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball. “The goal of the quarantine we have implemented is to help reduce the opportunities these pests may have in hitching a ride on firewood, plants and other common outdoor items and entering our state in the first place.”

SLF, which is known to do significant damage to agricultural crops as well as plant nurseries and the forest products industries, was first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014. Established populations of SLF have since been found in New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia.

Two cases of a single reported bug have been confirmed in New York. Given the proximity to the Pennsylvania and New Jersey infestations, NYS is at high risk for infestation. While these insects can jump and fly short distances, they spread primarily through human activity. SLF lay their eggs on any number of surfaces such as vehicles, stone, rusty metal, outdoor furniture and firewood. They can hitch rides on any outdoor item and be easily transported into and throughout New York.

“The newly designated exterior quarantine is part of the State’s aggressive effort to protect our natural resources from the destructive, invasive pest spotted lanternfly,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “If this insect becomes established in New York it would threaten our agricultural and tourism industries, including outdoor recreational activities. DEC will continue to work with our state and federal partners to prevent the introduction of this pest into New York State and do what we can to help educate and prepare communities for spotted lanternfly.”

SLF is a destructive pest that feeds on more than 70 plant species including tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), maples, apple trees, grapevine, and hops. SLF feedings can stress plants, making them vulnerable to disease and attacks from other insects, and cause significant damage to New York’s agricultural industry. SLF also excretes large amounts of sticky “honeydew,” which attracts sooty molds that interfere with plant photosynthesis, negatively affecting the growth and fruit yield of plants. SLF also has the potential to significantly hinder quality of life due to the honeydew and the swarms of insects it attracts.

To help slow the spread of SLF into New York, the quarantine requires certificates of inspection issued from the impacted states on the following regulated articles entering New York State:

• Any living life stage of the SLF.

• Brush, debris, bark, or yard waste.

• Landscaping, remodeling, or construction waste.

• Logs, stumps, or any tree parts.

• Firewood of any species.

• Packing materials, such as wood crates or boxes.

• All plants and plant parts, including but not limited to nursery stock, green lumber, fruit and produce and other material living, dead, cut, fallen (including stumps), roots, branches, mulch, and composted and uncomposted chips.

• Outdoor household articles, including, but not limited to, recreational vehicles, lawn tractors and mowers, mower decks, grills, grill and furniture covers, tarps, mobile homes, tile, stone, deck boards, mobile fire pits, and any equipment associated with these items, and trucks or vehicles not stored indoors.

• Any other article, commodity, item, or product that has or that is reasonably believed to be infested with or harboring SLF.

New York’s order requires travelers transporting any of the above items to have documentation listing the origin and destination of shipments. It also prohibits unnecessarily stops while traveling through the quarantine area. The State Department of Agriculture and Markets will operate compliance checks at strategic locations around the State to enforce the regulations.

The State’s quarantine order was developed in consultation with representatives from the forest products industry, including manufacturers and harvesters, and nurseries/landscapers, orchard and vineyard owners, and others potentially impacted by the restriction. New York also collaborated with other states where quarantines have been enacted to slow the SLF’s spread.

Earlier this month, the Department of Agriculture and Markets and DEC confirmed that SLF was found in Albany and Yates counties. A single adult insect was discovered in a vehicle in the Capital Region and a single adult insect was reported on a private Keuka Lake property in Penn Yan, Yates County.

Following both reported cases, the Department and DEC immediately began extensive surveys throughout the area.  The public is encouraged to continue to report any potential sightings of SLF and to send a photo to Please note the location of where the insect was found, egg masses, and/or infestation signs.  The public is also encouraged to inspect outdoor items such as vehicles, furniture, and firewood for egg masses. Anyone that visits the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia infested areas should thoroughly inspect their vehicle, luggage and gear for SLF and egg masses before leaving and scrape off all egg masses.

A Smartphone application is also available to help citizens and conservation professionals quickly and easily report new invasive species sightings directly to New York’s invasive species database from their phones. For more information, visit New York’s invasive species database.

The Department, DEC, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the US Department of Agriculture will continue to survey throughout the Capital District and the Finger Lakes focusing on travel corridors and high-risk areas. Extensive surveys will continue to be conducted in high-risk areas throughout the state as well as inspections of nursery stock, stone shipments, commercial transports, etc., from Pennsylvania. Education to the public as well as industry personnel will also continue. For more information on spotted lanternfly, visit DEC’s website.

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Collins credits Trump with revisions to NAFTA, which will help dairies in WNY

Posted 1 October 2018 at 2:32 pm

Press Release, Congressman Chris Collins

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (R-Clarence) praised President Trump and his administration for reaching a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada to be called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

USMCA will make significant changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that will put the United States on more equal footing with the other nations. Specifically with regard to the dairy industry, Canada’s pricing program has created an unfair playing field and has essentially eliminated U.S. exports of certain dairy products, harming Western New York’s dairy industry.

“Today’s announcement is proof that House Republicans under President Trump’s leadership are getting our nation back on track and standing up for American interests,” Collins said. “President Trump has stood with Western New York’s dairy farmers to protect this industry and make sure American farmers are being treated fairly. The USMCA is a big win for Western New York and I applaud the President’s hard work.”

Collins has fought to end Canada’s unfair Class 7 pricing program, which has severely impacted New York dairy farmers. Under the USMCA, Canada has agreed to eliminate this program in order to level the playing field between the U.S. and Canada while allowing our dairy producers the ability to expand sales overseas.

Outside of the dairy industry, this trade agreement will increase the production of American goods and services. The agreement requires that 75 percent of auto content be produced in North America and makes critical reforms that will boost autoworkers’ wages. Additionally, the USMCA includes strong labor provisions that prioritize and protect American manufacturing jobs.

Furthermore, the agreement provides strong protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. This includes 10 years of data protection for biologic drugs and a large scope of products eligible for protection. These reforms are critical to driving innovation, creating economic growth, and supporting American jobs.

“President Trump is fulfilling his campaign promises and Republicans in Congress are eager to keep working with the White House to Make America Great Again,” Collins said.

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Ortt has $25K from state to continue Ag in the Classroom, 4-H at schools

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 September 2018 at 10:12 am

Provided photo

KNOWLESVILLE – State Senator Rob Ortt, left, last week presented a ceremonial check for $25,000 to Robert Batt, executive director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County.

The funding will be used to continue the Agriculture in the Classroom program, which currently goes to Kendall and Lyndonville schools as well as Rainbow Preschool in Albion. The Extension is open to expanding the program to other local school districts, Batt said this morning.

The state funding also will help fund the 4-H program at three local school districts. 4-H staff have been running clubs at Kendall and Lyndonville, and this year will be starting a program in Medina.

“The kids are there and they’re excited to be doing it, and takes out the extra step of transportation,” Batt said about the 4-H programs at schools.

All three are for students in elementary school. The Kendall program meets twice a month before school, while Lyndonville is twice a month after school. Medina will start in October with a monthly meeting after school, Batt said.

“We have seen incredible success with agricultural-based education in rural communities across the state,” Ortt said.

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Apple industry leader with local connections new chairwoman of national organization

Staff Reports Posted 1 September 2018 at 5:09 pm

Kaari Stannard is the new leader of the U.S. Apple Association

Kaari Stannard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kaari Stannard, a New York marketer, packer and grower is the new chairwoman of the U.S. Apple Association. She will lead the organization’s board of directors.

Stannard is the owner of New York Apple Sales, Inc., one of the largest marketers of New York state apples. She has been in the apple business since 1996. She is a partner in both Pomona Packing and Lake Ontario Fruit, which are apple packing facilities located in western New York. Stannard is also a partner in Fish Creek Orchards, located in Orleans County. Lake Ontario Fruit also is in Orleans County, on Ridge Road in Gaines.

“Kaari’s breadth of knowledge about and dedication to the apple industry have been instrumental in helping shape the direction of USApple during her board tenure over the last several years,” said USApple President and CEO Jim Bair. “Her passion for the apple industry, coupled with her ‘can-do’ leadership style, will serve USApple and its members well during the next year.”

Aside from her leadership with USApple, Stannard is a past treasurer and current board member of the U.S. Apple Export Council and served two terms as board member of the New York Apple Association. She is a past member of the grower shipper board for United Fresh Produce Association and is a graduate of their leadership program. She has and continues to serve on various Produce Marketing Association committees.

Stannard is a licensed CPA and holds a bachelor’s degree in business and accounting from the State University at Buffalo. Stannard succeeds 2017-18 Chair Mark Boyer, co-owner of Ridgetop Orchards near Fishertown, Penn.

U.S. Apple Association is the national trade association representing all segments of the apple industry. Members include 40 state and regional associations representing the 7,500 apple growers throughout the country, as well as more than 400 individual firms involved in the apple business.

Jason Woodworth, a partner with Fish Creek Orchards (formerly called Lamont Fruit Farm Inc.), also serves on the board of directors for USApple. Woodworth oversees 500 acres of wholesale fresh fruit orchards near the shoreline of Lake Ontario. His responsibilities include marketing, pack house relations, quality control and on farm nursery. He is a past chairman of the board for the New York Apple Association.

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NY Farm Bureau wants end to tariffs

Posted 31 August 2018 at 1:31 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers – Honeycrisp apples are pictured in October 2016 at the Roberts Circle R fruit stand and farm market on Route 18 in Carlton. NY Farm Bureau says apples face retaliatory tariffs in trade disputes.

Press Release, NY Farm Bureau

SYRACUSE – New York Farm Bureau held a news conference at the Great New York State Fair on Thursday and called for the quick end of a trade war that is creating economic hardship on family farms across New York.

Farm Bureau leaders were joined by Richard Ball, commissioner of State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner, and Farmers for Free Trade. They highlighted the importance of open markets for the state’s farmers.

A number of New York commodities – including dairy, soybeans, wine, maple and apples – face retaliatory tariffs in several countries including China, Canada, Mexico and in the European Union. In turn, commodity prices have fallen on agricultural products.

Equipment prices are rising due to the steel and aluminum tariffs, and farmers are concerned about losing long established markets as countries turn to other, cheaper sources for their food. These losses, in turn, will impact rural communities that depend on agriculture to support their local economies.

“We understand that trade agreements may need to be updated, but we have to be careful not to damage the relationships that we already have and depend on,” said New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher. “We are encouraging our leaders in Washington, to move quickly at getting the parties back to the negotiating table, much like we have seen this week with Mexico, and to move forward on improving trade relations with our partners.”

While U.S. agriculture has had a trade surplus, the farm economy has not been a bright spot for this country. Net farm income was already down by 50 percent before the trade wars began.  When times are tough, this is when this country needs to be looking for new opportunities to expand markets to sell the quality products produced on our farms. The principle agreement announced this week with Mexico is a positive step in the right direction, but ultimately, we will need Canada to complete an effective NAFTA deal. Farmers also encouraged a resolution to disputes elsewhere, including China.

“The tariffs being imposed on our agricultural commodities are compounding an already difficult marketplace and putting New York’s farmers in a precarious situation,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball. “Once these markets are lost, we could find it extremely difficult to regain that footing. We have an opportunity here to collaborate with our partners and to call for new free trade agreements and thoughtful, long-term solutions.”

“Farmers for Free Trade is proud to join the New York Farm Bureau at the state fair to discuss the importance of trade to New York’s agriculture and manufacturing industries,” said Angela Hofmann, Deputy Director of Farmers for Free Trade. “Today’s joint event will highlight the price that New York agriculture and manufacturing workers are paying from the trade war and call attention to the need for consistent and fair trade policies.”

“Our farmers are reliable, they are resilient, and they are responsible. They are ingenuitive and they are innovative in producing an excellent product for consumers both stateside and abroad amid a myriad of unpredictable challenges including the weather and ever-changing consumer demand. As steadfast patriots, we look to our government to recognize that our growers already operate in an environment of uncertainty and hope that this administration will facilitate opening the doorway to global opportunities in a way that is good for our country and its farmers,” said Colleen Klein, New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association’s Executive Director.

“Since the end of May, following Mexico’s announcement of 25 percent retaliatory tariffs on US cheeses, the price we receive for our milk has dropped by 14 percent. To put that into realistic terms for our dairy farm, that is a loss of over $3,000 a day. Farm families like mine and our dairy farming friends across New York State are asking for a quick end to the trade war affecting our families’ livelihoods and our country’s backbone, the American farmer,” said Johanna Fox-Bossard, Barbland Dairy in Fabius, NY.

“New York maple producers are concerned about trade from two fronts. The tariffs in both Asia and Canada mean a potential loss of markets for American made maple syrup as cheaper Canadian maple syrup moves in to fill the void. In addition, the steel and aluminum tariffs have resulted in price hikes for equipment we need to produce maple syrup. My company alone was forced to increase prices 10 percent, prices that eventually will be passed down to consumers. We need a fix now before there are long lasting repercussions on New York’s maple industry,” said Dwayne Hill, Shaver-Hill Maple Farm.

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