State budget includes tax credit for farmers who donate food

Photo by Tom Rivers: Albion FFA students are pictured on Dec. 17 with a thank you message for the farmers that donated to the drive. Local farmers donated 33,000 pounds of produce. The FFA started the food drive in 2010, and collected more than 160,000 pounds of produce that are given to Community Action and local food pantries.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 April 2017 at 7:37 am

New York Farm Bureau said the state budget provides strong support for agricultural program and includes “Farm to Food Bank” tax credit for farmers who donate produce.

David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau president, issued this statement about the state budget:

“New York Farm Bureau is pleased that the final New York State budget addresses several of our farmers’ priority issues for the legislative session. This includes funding for numerous programs that support research, promotion and economic development of our diverse agricultural community in New York. However, the impacts of the state budget will be felt far off the farm as well.

“For starters, $50 million earmarked for nutrient management under the Governor’s new water infrastructure plan will build on the agricultural community’s strong record of environmental stewardship. It will assist dairy farms through cost sharing to invest in manure storage. The result is more flexibility on farms to manage the organic matter, which helps protect water quality for all New Yorkers.

“In addition, we are excited that the Farm to Food Bank Bill will finally receive funding. The small tax credit for donated food will offset a portion of the costs to pick, package and deliver the fresh produce to regional food banks and pantries. In turn, more New Yorkers in need will have access to locally grown food.

“Farming is important to New York State and that sentiment is reflected in the final New York State budget. At a time when farm income is down due to low commodity prices, the investments in agriculture are especially needed. New York Farm Bureau would like to thank Senate Patty Ritchie for her diligent work in securing funding that will benefit family farms across New York. In addition, Assembly Agriculture Chair Bill Magee continues to be a great advocate as well for agriculture. Finally, we appreciate the support of Governor Cuomo and the leaders in the Senate and Assembly for making agriculture a priority during budget negotiations.”

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