State Farm Bureau releases 2021 agenda; immigration reform, COVID protections top priorities
Nick Reisman is reporting for State of Politics the New York Farm Bureau this week released its agenda for the new year, covering a range of issues including immigration reforms, improved trade policies and having a seat at the table in shaping climate change policy. And the pandemic remains a challenge. The farm bureau wants broader immigration reforms and is generally supportive of President Joe Biden's immigration plan. That proposal would provide a framework for citizenship for those currently living in the U.S. to gain permanent resident status, but the bureau would want the measure to go further and address long-term needs of seasonal and year-round farms. The agenda includes a push for including agriculture workers in vaccine distribution in New York. “We are making this a priority to expand programs that provide resources and address mental health challenges and opioid addiction in rural communities," said Farm Bureau President David Fisher. "Also, we support policies and legislation that provide stress assistance programs to farmers and increase farmer-facing training opportunities. We must work to increase awareness and reduce the stigma of rural mental health issues."The new Biden administration is also bringing a different approach on trade policy, and farms want to ensure their products will still be sold in large foreign markets, including China, said Lauren Williams, the group's director of public policy and national affairs. Read more at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.