A02952 Summary:

BILL NOA02952A
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORCrouch
 
COSPNSRBarclay, Finch, Giglio, Hawley, Kolb, Montesano, Oaks, Raia, DiPietro
 
MLTSPNSRCeretto, Friend, Tenney
 
Amd S605, add S671-a, Ed L
 
Enacts the "New York farmer recruitment and retention act of 2015"; directs the board of regents and the education department to investigate and study undergraduate agricultural programs with the goal of identifying programs which encourage entry into agricultural production; establishes agriculture producer scholarships for students who agree to be agriculture producers in the state for a certain period of time after graduation; establishes the producer's loan forgiveness program; directs the board of regents and the education department to establish and implement an outreach program to encourage elementary and secondary school students to enter the agricultural field; directs the commissioner of agriculture and markets to report to the governor and the legislature on reducing taxation on land used in agricultural production; appropriates funds therefor.
Go to top    

A02952 Actions:

BILL NOA02952A
 
01/20/2015referred to agriculture
12/02/2015amend (t) and recommit to agriculture
12/02/2015print number 2952a
01/06/2016referred to agriculture
05/24/2016held for consideration in agriculture
Go to top

A02952 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A2952A
 
SPONSOR: Crouch (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to enact the "New York farmer recruitment and retention act of 2016"; to direct the board of regents and education department to study agricultural education programs (Part A); to amend the education law, in relation to enacting the "agriculture producer scholarship act" and making appropriations therefor (Part B); to amend the education law, in relation to establishing the producer's loan forgiveness program (Part C); to direct the board of regents and the education department to implement an outreach program to encourage elementary and secondary students to enter the agricultural field (Part D); and to direct the commissioner of agriculture and markets to report on reducing the taxa- tion for landowners who use their land for agricultural production (Part E)   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To attract young people to the agricultural industry, specifically into production, in New York state.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This contains several provisions designed to attract and retain a young- er workforce in the agricultural field, principally into agricultural production. Part A directs the New York Board of Regents and the Department of Education, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture and Markets, to investigate current education programs for agriculture in vocational-technical schools, community colleges and universities to identify the scope of agriculture education programs in the state; iden- tify non-traditional agricultural education programs; develop models for innovative agricultural education programs that will encourage individ- uals to become producers; develop and implement an outreach campaign encouraging elementary and secondary education students to enter the agricultural field and attend one of New York state's college agricul- tural education programs. Part B creates an Agriculture Producers Scholarship program to increase the number of students studying agriculture production in New York State. Part C creates a Producer's Loan Forgiveness to reduce the amount of education loans for farm operators who fulfill an obligation to operate a farm on a full-time basis for at least five years. Part D creates an outreach campaign encouraging elementary and secondary education students to enter the agricultural field and attend one of New York state's college agriculture education programs. Part E report on agriculture taxation.   JUSTIFICATION: New York's farming community is aging and it has become increasingly difficult to attract young people to farming and encourage younger generations to take over the family farm. The average age of a farm operator in the state is fifty-four and in 2004 less than 1,000 students were awarded degrees in agriculture by a college in New York State and the majority of these degrees were not awarded in a discipline leading to a career as a producer. The agriculture industry has a substantial impact on the overall impact on the overall economic health and well-be- ing of the state and it is in the best interest of the state to ensure that enough producers are recruited and retained in agriculture production. The Assembly Republican Task Force of the State of New York Agriculture talked to farmers all over the state, including young farm- ers, to discover ways to increase interest in agriculture and assist young farmers just starting out. This bill is the culmination of those ideas.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately provided, however, that the applicable effective date of Parts A through E of this act shall be as specifically set forth in the last section of such Parts.
Go to top

A02952 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         2952--A
 
                               2015-2016 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 20, 2015
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. CROUCH, BARCLAY, FINCH, GIGLIO, HAWLEY, KOLB,
          MONTESANO, OAKS, RAIA, DiPIETRO -- Multi-Sponsored  by  --  M.  of  A.
          CERETTO,  FRIEND, TENNEY -- read once and referred to the Committee on
          Agriculture -- committee discharged, bill amended,  ordered  reprinted
          as amended and recommitted to said committee

        AN  ACT  to  enact the "New York farmer recruitment and retention act of
          2016"; to direct the board of  regents  and  education  department  to
          study agricultural education programs (Part A); to amend the education
          law,  in  relation  to  enacting the "agriculture producer scholarship
          act" and making appropriations therefor (Part B); to amend the  educa-
          tion  law, in relation to establishing the producer's loan forgiveness
          program (Part C); to direct the board of  regents  and  the  education
          department  to  implement  an outreach program to encourage elementary
          and secondary students to enter the agricultural field (Part  D);  and
          to  direct  the  commissioner  of agriculture and markets to report on
          reducing the taxation for landowners who use their land  for  agricul-
          tural production (Part E)

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may  be  cited  as
     2  the "New York farmer recruitment and retention act of 2016".
     3    §  2.  This  act enacts into law major components of legislation which
     4  relate to farmer recruitment and retention.   Each component  is  wholly
     5  contained  within  a Part identified as Parts A through E. The effective
     6  date for each particular provision contained within  such  Part  is  set
     7  forth  in  the  last  section of such Part. Any provision in any section
     8  contained within a Part, including the effective date of the Part, which
     9  makes reference to a section "of this act", when used in connection with
    10  that particular component, shall be deemed to  mean  and  refer  to  the
    11  corresponding section of the Part in which it is found.  Section four of
    12  this act sets forth the general effective date of this act.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD06574-02-5

        A. 2952--A                          2
 
     1                                   PART A
 
     2    Section  1.  Legislative  findings  and intent. The legislature hereby
     3  recognizes the need to increase the number of producers to continue  the
     4  long tradition of agricultural production in New York state. The average
     5  age of a farm operator in the state is fifty-four years of age. In 2004,
     6  less  than  1,000  students  were  awarded  degrees  in agriculture by a
     7  college in this state and the majority of these degrees were not awarded
     8  in a discipline leading to a career  as  a  producer.  The  agricultural
     9  industry  has  a  substantial  impact on the overall economic health and
    10  well-being of the state, and it is in the best interest of the state  to
    11  ensure  that enough producers are recruited and retained in agricultural
    12  production.
    13    § 2. The board of regents and the education department,  in  consulta-
    14  tion with the department of agriculture and markets, shall:
    15    (a)  Investigate  current  education programs for agriculture in voca-
    16  tional-technical schools, community colleges and universities, to  iden-
    17  tify the scope of agricultural education programs in the state;
    18    (b)  Identify  non-traditional college education programs administered
    19  in other states and other countries;
    20    (c) Develop a model for articulation and  career  mobility  to  enable
    21  producers  in  every agricultural production field to progress to owner-
    22  ship or management of land used in agricultural production,  as  defined
    23  in subdivision 4 of section 301 of the agriculture and markets law; and
    24    (d)  Develop models for innovative agriculture education programs that
    25  will encourage individuals to become producers,  utilizing  an  agricul-
    26  tural  mentoring  program  from  degree  award  to retirement, including
    27  continuing education opportunities.
    28    § 3. The board of regents and the education department  shall  present
    29  their final findings and recommendations to the legislature on or before
    30  January 1, 2018.
    31    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
 
    32                                   PART B
 
    33    Section  1.  Short  title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
    34  the "agriculture producer scholarship act".
    35    § 2. Section 605 of the education law  is  amended  by  adding  a  new
    36  subdivision 13 to read as follows:
    37    13.  Agriculture  producer  scholarships. a. Purpose. The commissioner
    38  shall award scholarships for the purpose of  increasing  the  number  of
    39  producers  in the state. Such scholarships shall be awarded on a compet-
    40  itive basis, in accordance with criteria established by the  commission-
    41  er,  to  state residents who demonstrate academic merit for admission to
    42  an undergraduate agriculture program which the  commissioner  determines
    43  will enhance the recipient's proficiency as an agricultural operator.
    44    b.  Eligibility. To be eligible for an award pursuant to this subdivi-
    45  sion, applicants shall agree to serve, upon  completion  of  the  degree
    46  program,  as  a  producer  on  a full-time basis within the state.  Such
    47  service shall be completed in accordance with  criteria  established  by
    48  the commissioner.
    49    c.  Agreements.  The president shall, in consultation with the commis-
    50  sioner, develop and secure from  each  successful  applicant  a  written
    51  agreement  to  serve  as an agricultural operator in this state.  Within
    52  such time as the commissioner shall by regulation provide,  a  recipient
    53  of  an  award  shall have served for that number of months calculated by

        A. 2952--A                          3
 
     1  multiplying by nine the number of annual payments received by the recip-
     2  ient. In no case shall the total number of months of service required be
     3  less than twenty-four. If a recipient fails to comply  fully  with  such
     4  conditions, the president shall be entitled to receive from such recipi-
     5  ent an amount to be determined by the formula:
     6                                 A=2B (t-s)
     7                                       ----
     8                                         t
     9    in  which  "A" is the amount the president is entitled to recover; "B"
    10  is the sum of all payments made to the recipient and   the  interest  on
    11  such amount which would be payable if at the times such awards were paid
    12  they  were loans bearing interest at the maximum prevailing rate; "t" is
    13  the total number of  months  in  the  recipient's  period  of  obligated
    14  services;  and  "s" is the number of months of service actually rendered
    15  by the recipient. Any amount which the president is entitled to  recover
    16  pursuant  to  this  paragraph  shall be paid within the five-year period
    17  beginning on the date that the recipient  failed  to  comply  with  this
    18  service  condition.  Nothing  in  the written agreement shall affect the
    19  terms of employment of the individual who shall negotiate, separate  and
    20  apart  from the program, his or her salary and other forms of employment
    21  with an agency, institution or a program, in which he or  she  shall  be
    22  employed.  Any  obligation to comply with such provisions as outlined in
    23  this subdivision shall be cancelled upon the death of the recipient. The
    24  commissioner shall make regulations to provide for the waiver or suspen-
    25  sion of any financial obligation which would involve extreme hardship.
    26    d. Report. A recipient of an award shall report annually  to  the  New
    27  York state higher education services corporation, on forms prescribed by
    28  it,  as to the performance of the required services, commencing with the
    29  calendar year in which the recipient begins to serve as  an  agriculture
    30  producer  in  this  state  and continuing until the recipient shall have
    31  completed, or it is determined that he or she shall not be obligated  to
    32  complete, the required services. If the recipient shall fail to file any
    33  report required pursuant to this paragraph within thirty days of written
    34  notice  to the recipient, mailed to the address shown on the last appli-
    35  cation for an award or last report filed, whichever is later, the presi-
    36  dent may impose a fine of up to  one  thousand  dollars.  The  president
    37  shall  have  the  discretion  to  waive the filing of a report, excuse a
    38  delay in filing or a failure to file a report, or waive  or  reduce  any
    39  fine imposed for good cause shown.
    40    §  3.  The  education  law is amended by adding a new section 671-a to
    41  read as follows:
    42    § 671-a. Agriculture producer  scholarships.  1.  Number  and  certif-
    43  ication.  Twenty-five agriculture producer scholarships shall be awarded
    44  in the two thousand eighteen--two thousand nineteen academic year and an
    45  additional twenty-five scholarships shall be awarded in the two thousand
    46  nineteen--two thousand twenty academic year. Such scholarships shall  be
    47  allocated  as  provided  in  subdivision thirteen of section six hundred
    48  five of this title to eligible students as certified to the president by
    49  the commissioner.
    50    2. Duration. Each such scholarship shall entitle the recipient  to  an
    51  annual award for each year while enrolled in an approved course of study
    52  leading to an undergraduate degree in agriculture, but not exceeding the
    53  normal  period  of  study  required to complete the requirements for the
    54  program, as such approved courses and normal periods of study are deter-
    55  mined by the commissioner.

        A. 2952--A                          4
 
     1    3. Amount. The president shall make annual awards of fifteen  thousand
     2  dollars,  for  up  to four academic years for any recipient, except that
     3  such annual award shall not exceed the recipient's cost  of  attendance.
     4  For  the  purposes  of this subdivision, "cost of attendance" shall mean
     5  the  cost  of:  tuition at an approved undergraduate program in agricul-
     6  ture; laboratory and other fees; room and board; supplies; health insur-
     7  ance coverage; books and a stipend  for  daily  living  expenses  in  an
     8  amount  to  be  determined  by  the  president  in consultation with the
     9  commissioner.
    10    § 4. The sum of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), or so  much  thereof
    11  as  may be necessary, is hereby appropriated to the education department
    12  out of any moneys in the state treasury in the general fund to the cred-
    13  it of the state operations account, not otherwise appropriated, for  its
    14  services   and   expenses  incurred  to  administer  and  implement  the
    15  provisions of this act in the 2018--2019 state  fiscal  year.  Such  sum
    16  shall  be  payable on vouchers certified or approved by the commissioner
    17  of education upon audit and warrant of  the  state  comptroller  in  the
    18  manner prescribed by law.
    19    §   5.   The   sum  of  one  million  five  hundred  thousand  dollars
    20  ($1,500,000), or so much thereof as may be necessary, is  hereby  appro-
    21  priated  to  the higher education services corporation out of any moneys
    22  in the state treasury in the general fund to the  credit  of  the  local
    23  assistance  account,  not  otherwise  appropriated,  to  carry  out  the
    24  purposes of this act, including costs of award of scholarships  and  for
    25  its  services  and  expenses  incurred  to  administer and implement the
    26  provisions of this act in the 2018--2019 state  fiscal  year.  Such  sum
    27  shall  be  payable on vouchers certified or approved by the president of
    28  the higher education services corporation upon audit and warrant of  the
    29  state comptroller in the manner prescribed by law.
    30    §  6.  This  act shall take effect immediately, and shall be deemed to
    31  have been in full force and effect on and after April 1, 2017.
 
    32                                   PART C
 
    33    Section 1. Section 605 of the education law is amended by adding a new
    34  subdivision 14 to read as follows:
    35    14. Producer's loan  forgiveness  program.  Regents  loan  forgiveness
    36  awards  shall  be awarded annually to farm operator applicants who agree
    37  to operate an agricultural operation on a full-time basis.  Such  awards
    38  shall  be  granted  annually,  and  shall be classified and allocated in
    39  accordance with regents rules.
    40    a. (1) The applicant shall be a resident or permanent  resident  alien
    41  of  this  state  and  a  graduate  of an institution of higher education
    42  approved or registered by the regents.
    43    (2) The applicant shall agree to engage in such employment for a peri-
    44  od of time which shall be not less than five years.
    45    b. Priority shall be accorded to applicants in the following order:
    46    (1) First, to any applicant  who  is  completing  the  second,  third,
    47  fourth  or fifth year of the service requirement and is reapplying for a
    48  new award;
    49    (2) Second, to any applicant  who  is  economically  disadvantaged  as
    50  defined by the regents;
    51    In the event that there are more applicants who have the same priority
    52  than there are remaining scholarships, the commissioner shall distribute
    53  the remaining number of such scholarships by means of a lottery or other
    54  form of random selection.

        A. 2952--A                          5
 
     1    c.  The  commissioner  shall then forward approved applications to the
     2  president and shall notify unsuccessful applicants.
     3    d. The president shall notify applicants of their award entitlement.
     4    e. The president shall, in consultation with the commissioner, develop
     5  and  secure from each successful applicant a written agreement to engage
     6  in such employment, as appropriate. Within such time as the commissioner
     7  shall by regulation provide, a recipient of an award shall have  engaged
     8  in  such employment as appropriate, for that number of months calculated
     9  by multiplying by twelve the number of annual payments received  by  the
    10  recipient.  In  no  case  shall  the  total  number of months of service
    11  required be less than twenty-four. If a recipient fails to comply  fully
    12  with  such  conditions,  the president shall be entitled to receive from
    13  such recipient an amount to be determined by the formula:
 
    14                                  A=B(t-s)
    15                                   --------
    16                                        t
 
    17    in which "A" is the amount the president is entitled to  recover;  "B"
    18  is  the  sum  of  all payments made to the recipient and the interest on
    19  such amount which would be payable if at the times such awards were paid
    20  they were loans bearing interest at the maximum prevailing rate; "t"  is
    21  the  total  number  of  months  in  the  recipient's period of obligated
    22  services; and "s" is the number of months of service  actually  rendered
    23  by  the recipient. Any amount which the president is entitled to recover
    24  under this paragraph shall be paid within the five-year period beginning
    25  on the date that the recipient failed to comply with this service condi-
    26  tion. Nothing in the written agreement shall affect the terms of employ-
    27  ment of the individual who shall negotiate, separate and apart from  the
    28  program, his or her salary and other forms of employment with an agency,
    29  institution or a program in which he or she shall be employed.
    30    Any  obligation  to  comply  with  such provisions of this subdivision
    31  shall be cancelled upon the death of  the  recipient.  The  commissioner
    32  shall  make  regulations  to provide for the waiver or suspension of any
    33  financial obligation which would involve extreme hardship.
    34    f. A recipient of an award shall report annually to the New York state
    35  higher education services corporation, on forms prescribed by it, as  to
    36  the  performance  of the required services, commencing with the calendar
    37  year in which the recipient begins such employment and continuing  until
    38  the  recipient  shall have completed, or it is determined that he or she
    39  shall not be obligated to complete, the required services. If the recip-
    40  ient shall fail to file any report required pursuant to  this  paragraph
    41  within  thirty  days  of  written notice to the recipient, mailed to the
    42  address shown on the last application for an award or last report filed,
    43  whichever is later, the president may impose a fine of up to  one  thou-
    44  sand  dollars.  The  president  shall  have  the discretion to waive the
    45  filing of a report, excuse a delay in filing or  a  failure  to  file  a
    46  report, or waive or reduce any fine imposed for good cause shown.
    47    § 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
    48  it  shall  have become a law; provided, however, that any rules or regu-
    49  lations necessary for the timely  implementation  of  this  act  on  its
    50  effective date shall be promulgated on or before such effective date.
 
    51                                   PART D

        A. 2952--A                          6
 
     1    Section  1.  The  board  of  regents  and the education department, in
     2  consultation with the  department  of  agriculture  and  markets,  shall
     3  develop  and  implement  an outreach campaign encouraging elementary and
     4  secondary education students to enter the agricultural field and  attend
     5  one  of  New  York  state's college agriculture education programs. Such
     6  outreach campaign shall  continue  until  December  31,  2022  or  until
     7  enrollment  in  undergraduate agricultural programs increases by twenty-
     8  five percent.
     9    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
 
    10                                   PART E
 
    11    Section 1. Report on agriculture taxation. The commissioner  of  agri-
    12  culture and markets shall study and make recommendations to the governor
    13  and the legislature within eighteen months of the effective date of this
    14  section  on  reducing  the  taxation for landowners who use land for the
    15  production of agricultural commodities within and  outside  agricultural
    16  districts, pursuant to article 25-AA of the agriculture and markets law.
    17    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
    18    § 3. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi-
    19  sion,  section  or  part  of  this act shall be adjudged by any court of
    20  competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment  shall  not  affect,
    21  impair,  or  invalidate  the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in
    22  its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph,  subdivision,  section
    23  or  part  thereof  directly  involved  in  the controversy in which such
    24  judgement shall have been rendered. It is  hereby  declared  to  be  the
    25  intent  of the legislature that this act would have been enacted even if
    26  such invalid provisions had not been included herein.
    27    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately  provided,  however,  that
    28  the  applicable effective date of Parts A through E of this act shall be
    29  as specifically set forth in the last section of such Parts.
Go to top