Metzger touts bills to help NY farmers

Sen. Jen Metzger promoted 10 bills on Friday that have cleared the Senate and are intended to help farmers and bolster New York’s agriculture industry.

Most of the bills were approved that day or on Thursday, and all of them had unanimous support. Metzger, a Rosendale Democrat and chairwoman of Senate Agriculture Committee, sponsored seven of the bills, including one that would ease access to a student-loan forgiveness program for young farmers, and another that would make it easier for starting farmers to qualify for state grants.

“This package of legislation supports our long-term commitment to New York’s agricultural community, made up primarily of family-owned farms,” Metzger said in a statement. “We are making it easier for a new generation of farmers to enter the field, and helping existing farmers expand markets for the rich diversity of products that we produce. These bills also help to mitigate some of the financial and other obstacles that farmers face, particularly new farmers.”

Another bill that Metzger sponsored would offer technical assistance to help small-scale producers collaborate on selling their goods to large-scale buyers, so they can better compete in regional and national food markets.

Most of the farm bills are awaiting Assembly votes with three days to go in the legislative session.

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