ALBANY – Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D – 106th) announced that a bill she authored to support older farmers has been enacted into law (Chp.497 of 2014). The average age of farmers is now 57 years old, and with an aging population in one of the Hudson Valley’s most vital industries, this bill ensures that state services support their needs.
“Our family farms are our most valuable assets and crucial drivers of local economic growth. This new law will help protect our agricultural traditions and ensure that our farmers have the resources to successfully pass their businesses on to their children and grandchildren. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the state legislature to help both young and aging farmers flourish here in the Hudson Valley,” Assemblymember Barrett said in a press release.
Ms. Barrett’s bill requires that the Department of Agriculture and Markets work with the Office of the Aging and look into all programs and services provided by the state to make sure they support the needs of aging farmers in all agricultural sectors.
“This legislation looks to provide support to aging farmers who want to remain on the farm. They have much to offer the agricultural community, both in expertise and production. New York Farm Bureau would like to thank Assemblywoman Barrett for her leadership on this bill. As we look to attract new farmers to agriculture, it ensures the older generation is not forgotten,” Jeff Williams, New York Farm Bureau Public Policy Director, said in the release.