New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) today announced that he was recently named to the New York Farm Bureau’s prestigious “Circle of Friends” for his voting record on legislation in support of the state’s agricultural community and family farming. According to the New York Farm Bureau, its Circle of Friends distinction is awarded based on a legislator’s voting record on public policies significant to agriculture in New York State. Membership within the Circle of Friends is reserved for only those legislators who actively support New York’s farm families.
“It is an honor to once again be named to the New York Farm Bureau’s Circle of Friends and know that my non-partisan legislative record of supporting agriculture and family farming has been recognized,” said Kolb, who has previously been named to the Circle of Friends in 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; 2006; 2007 and 2008, respectively.
“Family farming is not only the backbone of New York’s economy; it is a critical part of our state’s cultural identity, a proud heritage passed from generation to generation. I will keep working to give our family farmers and agricultural businesses the support they need to continue providing their high-quality, nutritious products,” Kolb stated.
During the 2009 Legislative session, Kolb and the Assembly Minority Conference led an effort to try to stop the so-called “Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act,” a measure that significantly adds to the costs of doing business for New York’s family farmers struggling from the recession. In October, Kolb also wrote to United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, urging him to distribute the $290 million in direct assistance to dairy farmers as quickly as possible through the existing Milk Income Loss Contract Program. Additionally, Kolb and the Assembly Minority Conference annually sponsor “Dairy Day,” an Albany-based legislative event that showcases New York’s award-winning dairy products and publicly recognizes the important economic and cultural contributions of family dairy farmers.
As noted on its website, the Farm Bureau is “a non-governmental, volunteer organization financed and controlled by member families for the purpose of solving economic and public policy issues challenging the agricultural industry.” Its mission is “To Serve and Strengthen Agriculture.” With its membership numbering almost 30,000 families, the Farm Bureau “is the voice of New York agriculture.”