A strong agriculture sector in Upstate New York means strong local economies and vibrant communities. There are more than 35,000 farms in New York, including nearly 7 million acres of land in production. Family farms are often the largest employers in their communities and have a direct economic impact on businesses nearby, such as farm implement dealers, transportation, manufacturing, and equipment businesses. Elise is a member of the Dairy, Organic and Small Brewer’s Caucuses because she understands that our agricultural industries are critical to the North Country economy.

The counties in the 21st Congressional District account for large percentages of New York’s milk and dairy production, corn silage, bee colonies, apple orchards, and more. But farmers face many difficulties: unpredictable weather, difficult economic conditions, accessing credit, high property taxes, labor challenges and farm regulations — not to mention the death tax. The North Country also depends on access to a reliable workforce. For those unable to find local workers, it is essential that our agricultural visa programs work as they were intended. Elise is a leading voice for modernizing our agricultural visa programs, including the failing H-2A program.

Elise also supported the Farm Bill to deliver important wins for our farmers. It provides needed support for our dairy farmers who are facing a crisis right now, and it authorizes over $500 million in loan and grant programs to expand access to rural broadband, which is a key economic priority for our region. This legislation includes important environmental and conservation provisions, and two of Elise’s amendments were adopted unanimously to combat invasive species.The Farm Bill also supports our specialty crops and young farmers, and it includes needed reforms to the SNAP program to ensure that this important safety net does its job to provide a path out of poverty for the families it benefits.

We need to look toward the future and ensure that the next generation of farmers will be able to continue the family farm legacy.

Agriculture is a way of life in the North Country, and Elise is a strong voice for the entire Upstate agriculture community. Supporting New York farms means safer food, affordable goods and open and stable trade markets, not just in New York, but across the nation and the world. Elise has been a leading voice calling for changes to the Margin Protection Program to correct its failures and to allow our dairy farmers to earn the amount they need to thrive.

While in Congress, Elise has kept her promises to New York’s 21st District by taking the following actions:

Legislation introduced by Congresswoman Stefanik:
H.R. 4291 – Precision Farming Act
H.R. 281 – Family Farm Relief Act of 2017
H.R. 344 – Forest Legacy Management Flexibility Act

Legislation cosponsored by Congresswoman Stefanik:
H.R. 2336 – Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019
H.R. 2801 – Helping Labor Personnel on Farms Act
H.R. 747 – Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2017
H.R. 778 – Dairy Pride Act
H.R. 848 – Farm Regulatory Certainty Act
H.R. 1626 – Student Agriculture Protection Act of 2017
H.R. 2853 – Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Act of 2017

Elise tours Forrence Orchards in Peru, NY.