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 as Congress debates a new Farm Bill. 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, 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. 344 – Forest Legacy Management Flexibility Act

Legislation Cosponsored by Congresswoman Stefanik:

H.R. 747 – Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2017

H.R. 778 – Dairy Pride Act

H.R. 848 – Farm Regulatory Certainty Act

H.R. 1626 – Student Agriculture Protection Act of 2017

H.R. 2853 – Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Act of 2017

Caucus Memberships

Dairy Farmer Caucus

Horse Caucus

Organic Caucus

Small Brewers Caucus

Working Forest Caucus 

Resources for New Farmers in Our District:

Cornell University guide for new farmers

More on Agriculture

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.

April 3, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has sent a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue asking for support for farmers who have lost direct markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bipartisan letter requests swift implementation of the CARES Act, which provides significant funding to local farms and agribusinesses who have lost direct markets and income as a result of the outbreak.

April 2, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has sent a letter to Small Business Administration (SBA) asking that farms and agribusinesses be considered eligible for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans. The CARES Act, passed by the House last week, creates an emergency economic injury grant program. This provision expands the eligibility criteria in the underlying economic injury disaster program. However, the SBA currently does not include farmers and agribusinesses as eligible for the program.

March 24, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, and Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia requesting comprehensive resources and guidance for communities across New York State to address the impact that COVID-19 will have on the ability for migrant workers to access the H-2A visa program. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many embassies and consulates have closed.

March 17, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will be collaborating with a variety of non-government organizations to deliver nearly 1,000,000 meals to students at rural schools that have closed due to COVID-19. This announcement follows the USDA’s decision last week to give schools increased flexibility to continue providing meals at no cost to students in need during coronavirus-related school closures.

February 12, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is a cosponsor of the bipartisan Forest Recovery Act, legislation that will support timber farmers who have been affected by catastrophic loss events. The bill will help forest landowners recover from natural disasters by eliminating the basis limitation rule and allowing them to deduct up to the fair market value of their devastated trees. This levels the playing field for timber farmers who have been impacted by events like extreme weather and forest fires.

February 11, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has signed on to a letter to the new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Steven Hahn, urging him to take action to enforce the FDA standards of identity that are already in place for dairy products. The FDA has formal rules surrounding the definition of labeling genuine dairy products and alternatives that they have chosen not to enforce for several years.

February 10, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik voted in favor today of the Protecting America’s Food and Agriculture Act of 2019, legislation she cosponsors. This bill authorizes U.S. Customs and Border Protection, every fiscal year, to add 240 new U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists, 20 agriculture canine teams, and additional support staff in the Office of Field Operations. This is expected to continue until the number of specialists sustains the requirements put forward by the Agriculture Resource Allocation Model.

February 4, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik released the below statement following President Trump’s State of the Union address: