Farmers, Urban Policymakers Connect at New York City Reception

News / FBNews February 1, 2022

Credit: New York Farm Bureau, Used With Permission 

Looking to bring farmers and urban lawmakers together to discuss agriculture and food issues in a casual environment, New York Farm Bureau partnered with the Queens County Farm Museum to host a legislative reception last August at the historic museum and 47-acre education farm in the heart of Queens, New York.

The event brought thought leaders, policymakers and farmers together to discuss the importance of New York agriculture and how public policy can support the needs of the farming community and improve food access for communities in the city.

More than two dozen elected officials, staff members and business representatives, including New York State senators and Assembly Members, New York City Council members and borough officials, sampled New York food produced by the farmers and the Queens County Farm Museum. Fruits, vegetables, dairy and forest products filled the tables as the guests mingled for the two-hour event.

   Credit: New York Farm Bureau, Used With Permission   

Some of the topics discussed included the ability to move excess farm products through programs like Nourish New York to communities in need, existing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, better broadband access, labor issues and mental health support.

“The event was a big success generating many positive discussions about issues facing food insecurity and our family farms. I believe we have a lot in common. We all want to make sure everyone has access to healthy, fresh food. We all want the ability to keep food production in New York State, to reduce how far food must travel, and to have farms that can produce local food that is affordable and competitive with products coming from other states and countries. New York Farm Bureau looks forward to continuing the conversations, and I would like to thank the Queens County Farm Museum and everyone who attended for their participation and enthusiasm to work together,” said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau president.

New York Farm Bureau staff first visited the Queens County Farm Museum during a tour in 2019 with Senate Labor Chair Jessica Ramos, who represents her district in Queens. The museum is one of the longest continually farmed sites in New York State, producing food for over three centuries and educating hundreds of thousands of people every year. New York Farm Bureau board directors and about a dozen members took part in the reception.

A panel from New York Farm Bureau's museum exhibit. Designed for the reception, the outdoor exhibit remains on display.    Credit: New York Farm Bureau, Used with Permission   

For the event, NYFB produced an outdoor exhibit on New York State agriculture detailing the importance and diversity of New York farms. The exhibit remains on display for the roughly 500,000 people who visit the museum annually.

In addition, New York Farm Bureau donated a stack of books geared toward every reading level to the Con Edison Reading room at Queens Farm. The books focus on agricultural education to help visitors better understand where their food comes from and how it is produced.

Strategic Action Fund

The outdoor exhibit and the book donation were funded through 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, Kansas, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas – each contributed $1,000 to the Strategic Action Fund for the 2021 round of projects.

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