Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gourmet Magzine focuses on Politics: NY Senator Gillibrand joins Committee on Agriculture

The Senate Committee on Agriculture is responsible for U.S. farm policy as we know it—but Kirsten Gillibrand, the committee’s newest member, may help push it in a better direction.
by Sam Hurst

"Gillibrand comes from a family of hunters. Her mother is an avid gardener. One of the first bills she introduced in the New York House after being elected Representative from the Hudson Valley was a proposal to save small-scale dairies. The state’s dairy industry will remain one of her top priorities in the Senate. But these personal interests hardly command a seat on the Committee. What makes Gillibrand different is that she may see agriculture in a way traditional Farm Bloc politicians scoff at. She now represents not just upstate farmers, but one of the world’s largest, most food-savvy and economically influential urban markets.

"Gillibrand’s staff suggests that she will assert herself in areas such as organic marketing, farmers markets, “buy local” networks, and even state and local efforts to keep small farms and rural landscapes from being subdivided and developed. If Gillibrand turns out to be a bridge between farmers and direct markets, her influence could be far greater than expected from a junior senator representing a state that in the past has barely paid attention to farm policy."

Read the full article in the prior post.

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