In a strategic outreach campaign to lawmakers on the local, state and national levels, New York Farm Bureau shared farmers’ sustainability stories and messages in a variety of ways in 2022. A key part of the campaign was a series of videos featuring member farmers and the many sustainability and conservation practices they use.
At Sang Lee Farms in Long Island, the Lee family highlighted their crop rotation and integrated pest management systems, as well as the cover crops they plant. NYFB also spoke with Long Island Cornell Cooperative Extension and Suffolk County Soil and Water District staff who explained how they work with Long Island farmers to help them adapt to a changing climate and implement conservation practices.
Interviews with farmers at Wickham’s Fruit Farm, also on Long Island, centered on how they have been impacted by extreme weather events, while the interviews and video shoot in Rensselaer County at Wagner Farms, a dairy, featured the Wagners’ methane digester.
The videos produced on the farms were shared via social media and targeted to lawmakers and urban residents to elevate agriculture’s climate-smart efforts.
To reinforce the campaign, New York Farm Bureau members kept a steady sustainability drumbeat during their Urban Legislators Reception in Queens, New York, and a lobbying trip to Washington, D.C., during which they encouraged the state’s congressional delegation to support the Growing Climate Solutions Act.
Along with bringing farmers’ sustainability stories to lawmakers, New York Farm Bureau brought more than 40 state and federal legislators and their staff on a five-farm tour showcasing agricultural sustainability in action. The policymakers were shown how a dairy farm uses its nutrient management plan to better apply manure, how a niche berry operation is decreasing its use of agricultural chemicals and how a vineyard is adapting its grape varieties to a changing climate. The farm tours also featured an apiary that is adjusting its system to be more climate resilient.
Strategic Action Fund
New York Farm Bureau’s agriculture climate education outreach was funded by a grant from the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Strategic Action Fund. Through the fund, state Farm Bureaus with fewer than 25,000 members were eligible to apply for funding of up to $5,000 for public policy-related projects. Several state Farm Bureaus – Idaho, Iowa, Kansas and Tennessee – each contributed $1,000 to the Strategic Action Fund for the 2022 round of projects.