Yesterday, Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes (R,C-Caledonia) signed a letter calling for a series of public hearings to be held in regards to the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act (A.2750) proposed by the Assembly Majority. The bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, a New York City Democrat, would allow farmers to unionize in New York state and would impose serious challenges on the already struggling dairy and agricultural industry.
“At a time when farms are suffering, this bill would make this situation much worse. I have met with numerous farmers throughout the district with concerns that increased labor costs would severely affect their businesses and raise costs for consumers,” said Byrnes. “Although
there were three hearings on this matter, the hearings were not held any farther west than Syracuse. New York’s agriculture industry is largely done in Western New York and the voices of people who will be directly impacted by the bill should be heard.”
Alternatively, Assemblywoman Byrnes sponsors the New York Farmer Recruitment and Retention Act of 2020 (A.940) which is designed to attract and retain a younger workforce in the agricultural industry. This bill would create a scholarship program to increase the amount of
students in the state studying agricultural production, and develop a campaign encouraging elementary and secondary education students to enroll in New York state’s college agricultural education programs and work in the field. “There are not enough incentives to become involved in agriculture, yet it remains one of the most impactful industries in the state. By providing greater incentives to the younger
population, we will ensure that New York state’s farms will continue to operate,” said Byrnes.