A staunch advocate for New York State agriculture and ranking Minority member of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C-Schoharie) has authored, introduced and passed a legislative resolution memorializing March 25-31, 2023 as Farmworkers Awareness Week in the state of New York. The designation coincides with National Farmworker Awareness Week.
“Hardworking American farmers provide our state, and nation, with safe, healthy and affordable food. Thanks to their dedication, day-in and day-out our agriculture industry’s abundance also sustains the world’s food supply and has helped New York agriculture become the standard of food safety and technological advancement,” said Tague. “These investments in our economy, paired with being critical providers of our food supply, are clearly essential, but it is important to recognize farmers are also stewards of our land and take immense pride in that fact. For generations, the same people work this land and protect our beautiful, rural landscape here in New York and we are grateful to them in so many ways. This week commemorates all the ways farmworkers have enriched our lives, and we thank them. Without farms, there is no food.”
Tague’s resolution honors the nearly 2.6 million men and women who work on farms and ranches throughout the U.S., contributing to the $164.7 billion that agriculture adds to the American economy. Here in New York, agriculture is big business with the industry worth more than $5.75 billion in 2017 (the last year numbers were available from the New York Farm Bureau). According to the state comptroller, data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis in shows close to $1 billion in wages were paid in agriculture in New York state in 2021 alone.
According to the New York Farm Bureau, as of 2017 there were more than 33,000 farms employing more than 55,000 workers across the state on 6,866,171 acres of production. When combined with food processing jobs, that employment number jumps to nearly 200,000 workers.
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