Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia) has been named to the New York Farm Bureau’s 2009 “Circle of Friends” for the fourth consecutive year. This award is given to distinguish an individual lawmaker’s support of our state’s agriculture and Farm Bureau initiatives, as exemplified in lawmakers’ voting record on issues of importance to New York agriculture and other legislative actions, including sponsorship of legislation.
“This honor is very gratifying for me as a former hog and crop farmer who served as the former Genesee County Farm Bureau President, continual Farm Bureau member, and former Farm Bureau host of the radio program ‘Tri-County Commentary’ on WBTA. As a legislator, I have worked very hard to promote and protect the farms and agri-businesses throughout our state, but most especially those in Western New York which are so important to our economy and quality of life,” said Hawley, who was one of 84 legislators named to the circle for 2009.
According to New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton, the “Circle of Friends” award is based on each legislator’s voting record on issues of importance to the state’s agriculture industry and other legislative action, such as sponsorship of pro-agriculture legislation or vocal opposition to bills opposed by the Farm Bureau. In the 2009 legislative session, Hawley was one of the most vocal legislators who opposed the Farm Labor Bill, which many dubbed the “Farm Death Bill.” Hawley also was active in the fight for farmers by holding a rally to raise awareness for the plight of dairy farmers, testifying at a United States Senate hearing on the subject and calling on the Governor to appropriate some of the remaining federal stimulus dollars toward the cause.
The Assemblyman, who is also a member of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, stated at the time, “Here, in Western New York, agriculture is the backbone of our economy and I firmly believe that our rural economy deserves the same support given to failed Wall Street companies, like AIG.”