New York Farm Bureau outlines its 2017 national public policy priorities

Feb 28, 2017
Originally published on February 28, 2017 11:38 am

Members of the New York Farm Bill are in Washington taking about their priorities with the state's congressional delegation.

At the top of their list is immigration reform.

Farm Bureau President David Fisher says that's something that has been talked about for a long time, but it's an issue that is now at the forefront because of the actions taken by the Trump administration.

"The farm bureau believes in having strong border security, but enforcement cannot be the only approach to fixing a broken immigration system," he said.

Fisher says it also involves having a workable guest worker program that allows farmers to fill positions when they can't find people locally to do the work, and this also involves having an improved guest worker visa program.

Associate Director Elizabeth Wolters says President Trump's executive orders on immigration are making workers fearful, and causing great concern among farmers who want to take care of their livestock.

"These people are very important to the community and the economy, moving forward. That's why we are here in Washington, and that's why we are talking about immigration reform," she said.

The Farm Bureau's other top priorities include regulatory reform and discussions surrounding the upcoming Farm Bill, which is the biggest piece of legislation that impacts every farmer in the state.