INCE 1998, when I joined Delaware County Farm Bureau, DCFB has introduced more state polices that have become New York Farm Bureau Policy than any other county. These are those state policies. They do not include National Resolutions, nor do they include resolutions supported by DCFB, but not introduced by DCFB.
- We support legislation that would prohibit GEO seed manufacturers or companies from suing farmers for patent infringement when GEO plants in a farmer’s fields do not originate from that farmer planting GEO seeds or plants.
- We support clear labeling of “GEO” on seed packets sold to vegetable and casual growers.
AGRICULTURAL MARKETING AND PROMOTION
- j. We support continued promotion of farmers’ markets.
- We support strong enforcement of antitrust laws.
- We support markets and infrastructures that enable small farms to thrive in New York State.
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
- b. State support is recommended for expanded research and development of non-chemical alternatives for pest control.
- We support research into the commercial utilization of industrial hemp.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS
- We recommend that hand weeding be considered a sound agricultural practice.
- We oppose a mandatory animal identification program on both the state and federal level. Furthermore, we oppose the Department of Agriculture and Markets automatically enrolling individual farms into an animal identification program. The premise identification numbers of those who have opted out of the program should be purged from all databases.
PREAMBLE. …When regulations, not unacceptable risk, drive producers out of business, neither public safety nor consumers are served. The integrity of the producer and the judgment of the consumer must remain the cornerstone of food safety.
- We oppose unnecessary, mandatory processing of fresh fruit and vegetable products. However, we recommend all producers strictly follow food safety guidelines.
- We oppose mandatory irradiation of food.
- We oppose mandatory chemical treatment of wash water for fruits and vegetables for the purpose of disinfecting crops: such a regulation would not protect the public and put many growers out of business. However, we support mandatory use of potable water for washing produce.
- We recommend that all agricultural products imported into New York State be subject to the same inspection, sanitary, quality and residue standards applied to products produced in New York State and/or reciprocal states. Products should be clearly labeled at the retail level as to the country of origin.
- We oppose state mandated Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for fruit and vegetable production.
Promotion—New Product Development
- We support efforts to stop the illegal use of milk protein concentrates and caseins for food and dairy products and encourage enforcement by the state Department of Agriculture and Markets.
- We support continuation of the New York State Raw Milk Program.
Imitation Food Products
- We strongly support the use of raw milk solids instead of titanium dioxide for low fat or skim milk to make these dairy products more attractive to the consumer.
- We support the labeling of reconstituted milk for fluid and cheese products.
- We support the research and development of hydrogen power through fuel cells. Hydrogen powered fuel cells offer future generations a limitless energy supply and produce water as the waste product.
- We oppose the electric transmission lines proposed by New York Regional Interconnection from Oneida County to Orange County.
- We support rural electric cooperatives. They should be allowed to provide service to farmers and rural residents near the coop’s lines but who are currently served by other central station providers.
- We support rescinding any unincorporated business tax in New York State.
We support having the New York State Minimum Wage applied to all workers, regardless of age.
Agricultural Minimum Wage
- We support that the allowance for meals and housing should be adjusted periodically to reflect current costs. In determining actual cost, the allowances that are provided under the Department of Social Services should be used. Room and/or board should be applicable towards meeting a part of the minimum wage requirements.
PREAMBLE. Since the majority of New York farmers are self-employed, the viability of the self-employed as the largest agricultural producer in New York State is directly related to the regulations covering the self-employed. The self-employed farmer should not be the highest taxed, most regulatory burdened, and least protected New Yorker. New York Farm Bureau policy towards all legislative and regulatory changes shall be shaped by their impact on the self-employed. The rights of the self-employed shall be one of our highest priority issues.
- We support banning all unincorporated business taxes in New York State.
- We support one size fits all regulations pertaining to business be reviewed so that regulations on the self-employed are not unduly burdensome or cost prohibitive.
- We support one size fits all regulations pertaining to business be reviewed so that penalties on the self-employed are not unduly burdensome.
Notification and Reporting
- We support protecting the public from mosquito borne illness through Integrated Pest Management practices. The use of Malathion should only be considered as a last resort. If Malathion or any other pesticide is applied by county or state authorities to control mosquito borne illness, applicators should be licensed and follow the strict guidelines set forth by both the manufacturer and the federal government. State or County authorities responsible for pesticide application must be liable for any damage to conventional or organic farmers’ fields or crops.
- We support the application of sewage sludge on agricultural lands according to the guidelines of Cornell University Center for the Environment. We urge the DEC to adopt these recommendations as its own standard because they are far more protective of both the consumer and the farmer. We support the premise that liability and responsibility must lie with the waste handling authorities.
- We support prohibiting gas or oil companies from using water from aquifers for drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
- If any government or regulatory entity denies a permit for gas or oil drilling in watersheds to protect water quality, the landowners must be justly compensated for the loss of their mineral rights.
- We support DEC requiring gas drilling companies to disclose to DEC their proprietary recipe for hydraulic fracturing fluids, and a list of those chemicals to the public, as a condition of drilling and fracturing permit approval.
- The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (dSGEIS) concerning hydraulic fracking of horizontal gas wells is not protective enough of New York State’s agriculture, environment and people. We recommend that DEC, at the very least, include the following items in the final dSGEIS:
- Include in the SGEIS a comprehensive assessment of impacts on the environment and human health by numerous gas wells.
- Develop a practical plan for the disposal of all waste water that will be generated by hydraulic fracking of numerous horizontal gas wells, inclusive not only of fracking fluids, but all waste that will be generated by drilling and fracking of the Marcellus Shale.
- That all expenses to county and local government to implement the SGEIS be the responsibility of gas companies.
- Include a comprehensive list of safer alternatives to currently used fracking chemicals that may impact human health and safety.
- Develop and publish a statewide strategy to train and hire the many additional staff needed to enforce the final SGEIS, as well as a description of penalties to empower the state to protect the public.
- Equal protection for rural and urban water resources.
- Full monetary compensation for lost leasing rights in aquifer buffer zones.
- DEC should propose a comprehensive rule making package that would accompany the new draft SGEIS for drilling in the Marcellus Shale gas formation to fully ensure the protection of New York State’s agriculture and natural resources.
Nuisance Wildlife Controls
- We oppose all state mandated wildlife and livestock setbacks for fruit and vegetable production until research and sound science establishes the animal carriers and vectors of contamination from E. coli 0157:H7.
- We urge immediate state funding of research into the animal carriers and vectors of contamination from E. coli 0157:H7 to establish sound science about this food safety concern.
- We support allowing Nuisance Permits to be active during bow season.
- We support research into the effectiveness of planting and harvesting industrial hemp and other alternative crops as a means to control phosphorous runoff into New ork City’s reservoirs.
- We support allowing swimming and all unmotorized boating in the Cannonsville and Pepacton Reservoirs.
- We believe that land acquired by New York City n the watershed should be assessed at fair market valuation.
- We support repeal of state statutes that prohibit participation of homeschoolers in athletic team sports in public schools.
RURAL HEALTH CARE
- We support an effort to lower the health insurance costs to our members with non-discriminatory rates for self-employed business owners.
- Many of New York farmers are self-employed and operate sole proprietorships. We support providing New York’s self-employed the same economic incentives and benefits as are offered to large employers through state run programs.
TRANSPORTATION AND MOTOR VEHICLE CONCERNS
Roads and Bridges
- We support reinstatement of the maintenance part of the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS).