Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

      Championed by Senator Gillibrand, New York Farm Day Hosted on Capitol Hill

      One of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s latest efforts to support New York producers took place on Capitol Hill earlier this week when she hosted a “New York Farm Day” in an effort to “tastefully remind Congress, the Administration and others that New York is a major agricultural state, and agriculture is a major part of the state’s economy.”

      Give Thanks for This: The “Secret Farm Bill” Has Failed, Paves Way For Local Food, Farms and Jobs Act

      In the 1930s, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt saw that American farmers were producing too much; they weren’t earning off their extra work or surplus. In came the New Deal with the first-ever Farm Bill, set to end overproduction by paying farmers to grow less. In the ’70s, a man named Earl Butz, Secretary of Agriculture at the time, thought that idea was nuts, and so he paid farmers instead to “get big or get out”–referring of course to farming by the thousands of acres and those devoted to just a few crops. It was a perfectly good idea at the time for a country still discovering the value of its land and thenew global marketplace, which seemed to have no problem taking on the surplus. We couldn’t know then what has happened, which has also included farmers growing more crops for secondary, inedible products like corn syrup and cow feed rather than feeding us.