Sen. Gillibrand talks with local farmers

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) visited the Ooms Farm in Valatie Friday, March 3, to meet with local farmers and discuss pressing issues. Before the discussion session, the senator got a firsthand view of the Lely automated milking parlor, the first in the county. Then the gathering assembled in the machine shed. Those at the table included: Donna Williams of Field Goods, a local food distribution organization located in Ghent; Todd Erling, executive director of the Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation; Phil and PJ Trowbridge of Trowbridge Farms in Ghent; Lindsey Lusher Shute of the National Young Farmers Coalition; Jim Davenport of Tollgate farm in Ancramdale; Linda Fix of Fix Bros. Fruit Farm in Hudson; and Eric Ooms (l, above) of A. Ooms and Sons in Valatie. Other local farmers were in the audience. Topics ranged from farm succession–as older farmers retire, younger generations can inherit the businesses–estate taxes, education for young people who might want to go into farming, and issues regarding labor and farm visas such as H-2A for migrant workers. Photo by David Lee

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