Niagara County Courthouse Farmers

Farmers and Allies are Demonstrating Tonight at the Niagara County Courthouse

From 4:30 to 5:45 p.m., there will be a rally at the Niagara County Courthouse in favour of establishing a county Agricultural Rights Advisory Panel.

A brochure for the rally reads,

“We will meet and likely hear from some legislators who are in support of our right to farm, have livestock and provide for ourselves and the community,”   “Please come show your support for your local farmers.”

Tonight, the county legislature will be discussing a resolution to officially establish the panel. If given authority, the panel could assist advertise Niagara County as a place that “welcomes and encourages the agriculture industry,” recommend process changes, connect with key local agriculture organisations like the Farm Bureau and Cornell Cooperative Extension, and more.

One of the main economic drivers in Niagara County is agriculture and the agribusinesses that support it, which together generate about $20 million in annual sales. At least according to Strobel Farms owner and proponent Paul Strobel, an agricultural rights advisory council is a way to give farmers a voice in the county.

You can also check out the articles that are associated with County by clicking on the links that we have provided below:

Niagara County Courthouse Farmers
Niagara County Courthouse Farmers

Around 1.5% of New York’s population works in agriculture.

Strobel argued,

“Farmers in New York compose of something like 1.5% of the population. We have no voter bloc but we feed everyone in this country and many in the world,” 

Strobel has stated that one of the highlights of running his humble shop is the opportunity it gives him to impart knowledge on his patrons.

He has been a farmer since he was 12 years old, is well-versed in all aspects of cattle and swine farming, and is fond of calling his insights “real world” truths. While many members of the New York State Assembly may not have farms in their districts, they hold significant sway on his ability to make a living as a farmer.

“People in New York City don’t do or understand what I do,”  

Strobel remarked.

GOP state representatives Michael Hill of Royalton and Hartland, Shawn A. Foti of Newfane and Somerset, David E. Godfrey of Wilson and Cambria, and Irene M. Myers of Lewiston and Porter all signed on as co-sponsors of the motion.

The resolution states, in part, that

“In recent, there seems to be constant efforts in New York State to enact ill-considered legislation and policies by those with little to no understanding of farm economics that is making it increasingly difficult for our local farms to succeed, (and) Niagara County is also not immune to militant ideologies that are seeking to undermine the rights of farmers, attack the livestock industry and provoke confrontation … .”

Ed Pettitt, a Newfane farmer’s rights supporter, said a small panel like a local advisory group may have a huge impact on the county. He mentioned how, with the implementation of new gun rules across the state, the county’s 2nd Amendment panel had suggested hiring a part-time special investigator to handle gun permits.

Niagara County, which had handled 1,200 permits in all of 2021, processed 1,600 in August 2022, while other counties were facing backlogs. According to Pettitt, the panel’s efficacy was demonstrated by its ability to foresee an influx of applications and rally in support of a solution that proved beneficial to the county.

Niagara County Courthouse Farmers
Niagara County Courthouse Farmers

Strobel and Pettitt speculated that the agricultural advisory council would have six members and be co-chaired by a local lawmaker. Meat animals, dairy and eggs, produce and small processors would all be represented, as would the diversity of the local farming community.

Wilson-Cambria lawmaker Godfrey asserted that agriculture production provides Niagara County with the highest return on investment. He used milk production as an illustration since cows need grain, and grain needs farmers.

“Our farmland fills a multitude of industries and economics that support our county and community. They don’t make dirt anymore,”

Godfrey lamented.

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