Speaker Carl Heastie and Agriculture Committee Chair Donna Lupardo today announced the approved State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2021-22 Budget will include $35.78 million in funding for agricultural aid to localities and other critical agricultural programs. The budget also includes investments to help farmers get their products to New Yorkers experiencing food insecurity.
“When New Yorkers were struggling to put food on the table, our farms were working tirelessly to try and meet the rising demand for food,” said Speaker Heastie. “Our food banks became a critical resource for countless families, and we owe it to our farmers to ensure that they have the resources they need to continue feeding New York families.”
“The COVID pandemic exposed a number of vulnerabilities in our food supply chain, making the public more aware of where our food comes from,” said Assemblymember Lupardo. “This budget fully supports the programs and services our farmers, processors, researchers, and educators rely on. In addition, we recognize the need for sustainable and equitable approaches to New York’s farm economy.”
The approved budget would provide $35.78 million for Agricultural Aid to Localities, an increase of $8.4 million. The increases include:
- $1.46 million for the Cornell University Diagnostic Lab;
- $1 million for the New York Farm Viability Institute;
- $1 million for Agribusiness Child Care;
- $600,000 for Harvest NY;
- $500,000 for Farmland for the New Generation;
- $400,000 for Cornell Equitable Farm Futures Initiative;
- $336,000 for Cornell Farm Family Assistance (FarmNet);
- $300,000 for Northern NY Agricultural Development; and
- $250,000 for urban agriculture education and outreach in New York City.
The COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis made it harder for many New Yorkers to put food on the table, making food banks and emergency food providers a critical lifeline. To help connect New York’s farmers with programs that get food to those in need, the SFY 2021-22 enacted budget includes $50 million for Nourish NY.