Tenney, in letter to House Ag Committee, outlines NY24 priorities in Farm Bill
Loss of prime farmland for solar among the concerns
Press Release, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) today sent a letter to the House Committee on Agriculture detailing a range of priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill.
These priorities reflect the input of constituents from New York’s 24th Congressional District and were shaped by Congresswoman Tenney’s ongoing conversations with farmers and agricultural stakeholders throughout our region.
In April, Tenney launched a district-wide Farm Bill Listening Tour, which included multiple roundtable events in which she heard directly from farmers and producers regarding their priorities. Over 100 farmers who produce everything from dairy, beef, poultry, feed corn, alfalfa, onions, grapes, wine, maple syrup, apples, and stone fruit participated in this process and shared with Tenney their concerns and key issues for this vital piece of legislation.
In addition to holding these forums with farmers from across the 24th District, Congresswoman Tenney has also announced and continues to meet regularly with her Agriculture Advisory Committee. This committee is made up of farmers and agricultural stakeholders from across the district who share feedback regularly with Tenney.
The Farm Bill is considered every five years and is a vital piece of legislation for rural communities like New York’s 24th District. It sets national agriculture, nutrition, conservation, and forestry policies. It will be considered this year by Congress.
“New York’s 24th District is the top agriculture and dairy-producing district in our state and among the largest in the Northeast – it is absolutely essential that this year’s Farm Bill reflects our community’s priorities and input,” Tenney said. “I will continue to advocate for our region to ensure this year’s Farm Bill delivers positive results for agricultural producers and farmers in our district.”
The following were among the top asks for the 2023 Farm Bill:
- Do not make any cuts to Farm Bill Programs;
- Allow Federal Crop Insurance to be reformed to cover a wider range of items and better fit the needs of specialty crop growers;
- Support funding for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, educational support for farmers, and the research and monitoring of invasive species;
- Consider raising the Dairy Margin Coverage Tier 1 level’s 5-million-pound limit to better reflect the consolidation that has occurred in the dairy industry over the past five years;
- Ensure greater transparency with the profit margins of dairy processors to better inform dairy policy and allow negotiations between dairy producers and processors to occur on a more even playing field;
- Allow for greater flexibility in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cover crop rules;
- Prioritize the cultivation and opening of foreign markets for U.S. agricultural goods and ensure fairer access to these foreign markets;
- Improve support for our nation’s maple syrup industry, including by reforming the Acer Access and Development grant program to better incorporate input from farmers, classify maple syrup as a specialty crop, and boost the domestic market for maple syrup;
- Mandate the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to expand its collection of grape production data from the top two states to the top five states nationwide;
- Include Wyoming County, New York, as part of the Northern Border Regional Commission;
- Raise the minimum fixed broadband speed for USDA ReConnect and Rural Utilities Services programs; and
- Address the loss of prime agricultural land to solar farms.