Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo will have some new responsibilities when she returns to Albany next year.
Lupardo will be taking over as Chair of the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee.
She says she sought the post because she has already been advocating on behalf of farming and food issues.
For example, she has been an early proponent of industrial hemp cultivation and backed legislation that supported the state growing craft beverage industry.
And, she secured state funding for the Taste New York agriculture store in the Town of Dickinson.
Lupardo says the Greater Binghamton economy could benefit greatly from bringing more local foods to market. “I may not have a lot of farms here in the urban center of Broome County, but the potential for manufacturing farm goods is really quite high once we have good processed foods to work with.”
Lupardo says one key is tightening the supply chain to make it easier for locally grown foods to be sold locally and in New York City.
And, she wants to investigate ways to bolster the struggling dairy industry and protect local family farms.
As Agriculture Chair, Luparo will also have a say in the anticipated legalization of recreational marijuana.
She predicts that the state will create a new agency, similar to the Liquor Authority, to oversee all aspects of cannabis, from medical marijuana to industrial hemp to legalized pot.