Gibson was at CoBar Farm in Mount Upton today. He says the bill does a lot to help struggling farmers, although they may need to apply for many of the programs. The chief positive for Upstate dairy farms is a new safety net that looks at the cost margin between the cost of feed and the cost of milk. Farmers can purchase different levels of insurance to protect margins anywhere from $4 up to $8. Gibson credited members of his agriculture advisory committee who provided suggestions for provisions that he was able to get into the law.
"This farm bill was a long time in the making and this has been constituent driven," said Gibson. "You have folks here who have made a difference, who have impacted federal law."
Other aspects include helping to get more local food into school cafeterias and crop insurance reform. And incentives to get younger people into farming and encourage more large animal veterinarians. Plus more funding for research and programs for farmer safety.
"Through policies and programs like these aimed at giving farmers a fair shot at making a decent living, organizations like ours will undoubtedly be more successful in asking farmers to divert their attention from economic stressors, to other vital issues such as their own health and safety," said Julie Sorenson of the N.Y. Center of Agriculture, Medicine and Health.
The farm bill also includes more incentives for conservation and the timber industry. Gibson suggests that farmers contact their local Cornell Cooperative Extension office to learn more about available programs and how to apply.
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