Friday, February 12, 2016

Ritchie, Oswego County Farmers Talk about Food Hubs

From state Sen. Patricia Ritchie:

More than 20 Oswego County farmers and agriculture professionals met with state Sen. Patty Ritchie Wednesday for a forum to discuss the establishment of a “food hub” to link Upstate farmers with larger metro markets across New York state.

“Despite a growing demand for local foods, Upstate farmers are still facing challenges when it comes to getting their foods to large metro areas — however, a ‘food hub’ could help connect our farmers with new, larger markets across the state,” said Ritchie, who serves as chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

“I’ve had the opportunity to hear from dozens of farmers and agribusiness owners in recent months about how we can make our “food hub” venture a success and I’m looking forward to using this most recent feedback as we continue to work to expand business for our farmers and make fresh foods more accessible to people throughout our state.”

At Wednesday’s meeting in Mexico, Ritchie and other agriculture leaders, including members of the Senator’s Agriculture Advisory Council, discussed how to best utilize more than $1 million in the 2015-2016 state budget to establish food hubs.

These hubs will give farmers and agribusiness owners an opportunity to bring products to a central location where they can then be transported to major cities throughout our state, including New York City.  

This was the third forum hosted by Ritchie to discuss the establishment of ‘food hubs.’ Other forums took place in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.

Earlier this week, Ritchie unveiled “Planting Seeds,” a new plan to support New York’s agriculture industry by restoring budget cuts and increasing funding for key agriculture programs in the areas of research, education and marketing, providing new tax and regulatory relief for farmers, supporting initiatives that promote food safety and creating new opportunities for veterans, as well as young people in the agriculture industry, among others. 

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