January is when state legislatures regroup and, in some cases, reorganize according to election results last fall. Such is the case in state capitals throughout the northeast and these new legislative leaders are getting themselves acclimated to their new roles and responsibilities. Our democracy is dependent upon elected officials, who are willing to devote their time to serving the people, and special interest groups such as NEAFA, to arrive at the best policy decisions for our industry and our society. Therefore, we plan to show up in Albany, Montpelier and the other state capitols throughout the northeast.
Albany Lobby Day: February 11, 2019: You are invited to be part of the team of industry advocates that will be in the halls of the New York State Capitol on February 11th to advocate for our agriculture industry. (See registration details below) We know that the agribusiness community is dependent on a successful farm sector and therefore we will be meeting with new Senate and Assembly legislative leaders to deliver a message of support and urgency for keeping core agricultural programs, such as PRO-DAIRY and NY FarmNet, up and running. The new chairs of the Assembly and Senate Agriculture Committees, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Senator Jen Metzger, need to know us for who we are, what we do and why we play such an important role in the agriculture economy. Please plan to join us on February 11th. Details are post in this newsletter.
Montpelier: New Professional Representation: I am pleased to announce the Meg Nelson will be representing NEAFA in Montpelier this year. Meg hales from a Swanton, VT based dairy farm, Nelson Boys Dairy, and will be working with veteran lobbyist Margaret Laggis in the agriculture policy space. Meg will be in the VT Statehouse on a regular basis and will also coordinate our grassroots advocacy efforts. Meg’s passion for agriculture makes her a perfect fit for collaborating with the greater agriculture industry and conveying the agribusiness perspective to legislative leaders in Montpelier. Stay tuned for more details on a Montpelier lobby day later this spring.
ME, NH, MA, CT, RI: On our radar screen: As we have done in previous years, NEAFA will continue to monitor legislative and regulatory activity in all the New England states. Our network with the agriculture lobby, including AFIA, NGFA, state Farm Bureaus and professional ag lobbyists, keeps us informed and engaged. Nevertheless, I encourage you to keep your eyes and ears open for any potential policy or budget threat and notify me right away.
Together, we will show up!