Sen. Ritchie hosting FFA members during senate agriculture meeting

State Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton is hosting members of the Future Farmers of America chapters from across the state and from local school districts — including South Jefferson, Carthage, Gouverneur and Belleville Henderson — on Tuesday in Albany during the first Senate Agriculture Committee meeting of the year. Sen. Ritchie is the committee chairwoman.

During the meeting, Sen. Ritchie will discuss her plans to help New York state farmers during this year’s legislative session and listen to FFA members talk about what they are seeing in the industry today.

“Students who are part of FFA represent the next chapter of agriculture in New York State,” Sen. Ritchie said in a release. “Not only are these bright students learning about the importance of farming, they’re also learning valuable leadership skills that will last a lifetime. I’m excited to welcome FFA members to Albany and hear about the things they are doing today that will help farming remain a vitally important part of our economy for many years to come.”

The students will also be honored by Sen. Ritchie during the day’s Senate session with an official resolution recognizing them for their achievements and naming Feb. 18 through 25 the “FFA Week in the State of New York.”

In his proposed 2017-18 Executive Budget, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo committed $122 million for agriculture and markets, about $5 million more than what was proposed for the last fiscal year budget.

The extra spending has to do with the governor’s proposed modernization of the New York State Fair. A total of $70 million is going into several fair upgrades, including a gondola to take visitors between the Fairgrounds and Lakeview Amphitheater in Syracuse.

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