Agriculture

Agriculture is the backbone of the North Country and our farmers create jobs all across the district. Our district is home to a variety of agricultural commodities including significant dairy, apple, and maple operations. According to the last census of agriculture, New York’s 35,000 farmers bring in over $5 billion in sales.

New York’s producers face many challenges from over burdensome regulations, unfair trade practices from foreign countries, and declining prices for goods. Congresswoman Stefanik is committed to providing regulatory and tax relief to make it easier for farmers to operate in New York.

The North Country also depends on access to a reliable workforce. For those unable to find local workers it is essential that our agricultural visa programs work as they were intended, Congresswoman Stefanik is a leading voice for modernizing our agricultural visa programs including the failing H-2A program.

Now more than ever, it is critical to have a North Country voice. Congresswoman Stefanik will stand with our farmers to ensure access to critical research and support programs as well as fighting for increased market access in Canada, Mexico, Japan, and emerging markets.

As a member of the Dairy, Organic, and Small Brewer’s Caucuses Congresswoman Stefanik is committed to innovative solutions that support the North Country’s diverse agricultural background.  

For more information concerning work and views related to Agriculture, please contact our office.

Legislation Introduced by Congresswoman Stefanik:

H.R. 281 – Family Farm Relief Act of 2017

H.R. 4291 - Precision Farming Act

Legislation Cosponsored by Congresswoman Stefanik:

H.R. 5038 - Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019

H.R. 1769 – Dairy Pride Act

H.R. 7393 - Growing Climate Solutions Act

H.R. 4820 - Seeding Rural Resilience Act 

H.R. 4482 - Protecting America's Food and Agriculture Act

Caucus Memberships

Dairy Farmer Caucus

Horse Caucus

Organic Caucus

Small Brewers Caucus

Working Forest Caucus 

Resources for New Farmers in Our District:

United States Department of Agriculture

Cornell University guide for new farmers

New York Farm Bureau

More on Agriculture

September 4, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is a cosponsor of the bipartisan Agricultural Fair Rescue Act, legislation that would provide $500 million in grants to agricultural fairs. This funding would be directed to state departments of agriculture to be disbursed to local, county, and state fairs who are facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation is supported by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, among other groups.

August 14, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer urging them to take swift action to ensure that both Canada and Mexico abide by the spirit and letter of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) as it relates to their obligations to dairy.

July 24, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is a cosponsor of a House amendment to the FY21 Agriculture Appropriations bill that would improve report language on dairy standards of identity. Congresswoman Stefanik is a cosponsor of the Dairy PRIDE Act, legislation that urges the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enforce standards of identity for dairy products. This amendment is pushing FDA for stronger protections and enforcement of proper dairy labeling.

July 17, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is an original cosponsor of the American Farms, Food Banks, and Families Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA). This legislation creates a specific USDA position to empower farmers and ranchers to more easily donate food to enhance food security and the strength of the food supply chain. This new “Agriculture Supply Chain Administrator” is charged with developing efficiencies and addressing the key challenges within the domestic agriculture food supply chain.

July 10, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has announced that following her advocacy, USDA published new rules for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) yesterday that now make apple and select specialty crop producers eligible for the funding beginning July 13th. In June, Congresswoman Stefanik led a letter along with Congressman Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) and Congressman Dan Newhouse (WA-04), requesting that apple producers be deemed eligible for CFAP funding.

July 1, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Stefanik lead a New York delegation letter today along with Rep. John Katko (NY-24) and Rep. Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer urging him to ensure that Canada does not distribute tariff-rate quotas (TRQ’s), which undermine the intent of the dairy provisions of the USMCA by hindering the ability of the U.S. dairy industry to fully utilize the Canadian market access that the trade agreement provides.

June 23, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, along with Congressman Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) and Congressman Dan Newhouse (WA-4) have sent a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requesting the inclusion of United States apple growers in USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The letter states that apple prices during the last few months declined anywhere between 6.5 percent and 24.9 percent. Apple producers have faced significant loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the supply chain disruptions that resulted from it.

June 19, 2020 Press Release

Saratoga, NY – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy requesting that Congress provide USDA with $51 million to expand USDA’s match capability for the Gus Schumaker Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP). This program incentivizes fruit and vegetable purchases by providing SNAP recipients a match in benefits. The letter requests that USDA be provided funds to both decrease the required non-federal match funding for the program, in order to utilize it for the GusNIP program, and also allow for greater fruit and vegetable purchases.

May 12, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C.  – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is cosponsoring the bipartisan Farmers MILK Act, legislation to expand the existing USDA Milk Donation program to help get milk into the hands of those in need. The bill authorizes USDA to act as a matchmaker between dairy producers with excess supply of milk with food banks that can distribute that milk to those in need. It also authorizes an additional $4 million a year for this important program.

April 14, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Stefanik and Congressman Anthony Brindisi (D-NY-22) have led a bipartisan letter to USDA requesting immediate assistance for upstate New York dairy farmers, many of whom have lost direct markets due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The letter, signed by members of the New York Congressional delegation, requests swift action by USDA, including direct payments and reimbursements for dumped milk, in order to provide relief to dairy farmers.