February 9, 2023

by Maury Thompson

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, is an original co-sponsor of bipartisan legislation to expand research in the development and improvement of specialty crops such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, flowers and plants.

Specialty crops are seen as an expanding niche market for the viability of farms in New York.

Legislation that Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Washington state, introduced and Stefanik co-sponsored on Jan. 31 would restore authorization for the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to waive the matching funds required under a federal specialty crop research grant program.

Many colleges and universities are on tight budgets and cannot meet the matching fund requirement, Schrier said, in a news release.

The Secretary of the Agriculture previously had the right to waive the matching fund requirement when the program was established in 1998, but the authority was rescinded in the 2018 federal farm bill.

The legislation — HR 679 — had 21 co-sponsors, as of Wednesday — 15 Democrats and six Republicans.

Read the full story in the Post-Star here.