Three Sherman student members of Future Farmers of America (FFA) visited Assemblyman Andy Goodell and Senator Cathy Young in Albany last week. The students, Jessica Morton, Brandon Van Curen and Gabe Rater, were in Albany to meet legislators and to discuss New York’s agriculture industry. The students and their chaperone, Christine Burdick, were introduced on the floor of the Assembly by Assemblyman Goodell.
“Chautauqua County is home to a vibrant mix of agricultural industries, which are a very important part of our economy,” noted Assemblyman Goodell. “From dairy farms in the southern half of the county to the vineyards in the northern half, Chautauqua County helps set the pace for New York’s agricultural economy.”
“These young farmers are our future and their skills and talents will help us continue to be among the top producing counties in New York State. It was truly a pleasure meeting with these young farmers and hearing their take on the future of farming in Chautauqua County,” said Goodell.
Senator Young also praised the FFA program. “These students are learning extremely valuable lessons that will enable them to be agricultural professionals. They represent the future of Chautauqua County!”
“It is always important that we continue to ensure New York’s commitment to its agriculture industry, now and in the future. Without the hard work of these young people and groups like the FFA, our agricultural roots would slowly disappear,” said Senator Young.
Assemblyman Goodell discussed several important agricultural issues with the students, including the need for programs that support the Grape Foundation and Grape Discovery Center, integrated pest management, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, maple sugar producers, apple growers, and others. He also discussed legislation that he and Senator Young have successfully opposed that would cripple New York farmers, such as the farm labor bill supported by several New York City legislators. Senator Young and Assemblyman Goodell also have successfully supported efforts to reduce property taxes and utility costs, which would be especially helpful to farmers.
Both Senator Young and Assemblyman Goodell were named last year to the New York State Farm Bureau’s “Circle of Friends” in recognition of their strong support for agriculture.