Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt (R,C,I-Greenwood Lake) is pleased to announce passage of legislation to further promote farmers’ markets across the state. Assemblywoman Rabbitt is a multi-sponsor of Assembly Bill 6811, which was passed today in the Assembly.
“Part of my Buy Local-Shop Local initiative has been to encourage residents to shop at their local farmers’ markets. With the growing concerns about imported food safety, buying produce and other food products from your local farmers is an excellent way to not only support the community, but ensure you and your family have safe, affordable and nutritious food,” said the assemblywoman.
Assembly Bill 6811 will help better promote farmers’ markets and inform New Yorkers about local farms near them. The legislation also aims to improve agri-tourism, a growing tourism industry that can include wine tours, harvest festivals and other attractions that have helped improve the local economy in rural communities in addition to helping keep family farms in business.
Agri-tourism was a topic discussed as part of a roundtable discussion Assemblywoman Rabbitt held last week with area farmers’ markets and members of local chambers of commerce as part of her on-going Buy Local-Shop Local initiative. The purpose of the discussion was to talk about ways to further strengthen farmers’ markets and partner with existing businesses, such as restaurants or retail wine stores.
The assemblywoman said, “The future of family farms depends on thinking outside of the box. One hundred years ago, our restaurants and other establishments used and sold locally-grown produce, meats, cheeses and eggs as well as wines, beers and ciders. However, over time we have lost that tradition. Furthermore, many communities are seeing great success with agri-tourism initiatives and I encourage our local farmers to think about agri-tourism as another means to keep providing excellent locally-produced products while also sustaining their farm for generations to come.”
“This legislation will help promote the efforts of our farmers throughout the state and bring in those valuable tourism dollars,” said the assemblywoman, who recommends that farmers interested in learning more about agri-tourism contact the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, Empire State Development, FarmNet or Cornell Cooperative Extension for more details, helpful resources and support services.