News & Events

Pardon Me If I Do Not Say “Thank You”

Pardon Me If I Do Not Say “Thank You”

I sit here awaiting the final version from the 2019 legislature on the Farm Workers Act. I think the weather outside my window mirrors my mood today. It is raining and the last thing any of us need today is more rain! It is not official but every indication is that we will see this Bill passed before they all return to their URBAN homes. We will be left once again to try to reinvent our operations if we wish ... more
Three Hearings Down—What Have We Learned?

Three Hearings Down—What Have We Learned?

As we draw closer to some decision by the New York State Legislature on what will be the details in the final version of the Farm Worker Labor Bill we should try to reflect on what we have seen. To begin with, I was very proud of the quality of each and every testimony given by our industry. No two were alike. Each exposed a unique aspect of agriculture. Regardless if the testimony was from Morrisville or out on Long ... more
Public Hearing on Farm Worker Fair Labor Practice Act Senate Bill 2837, SUNY Sullivan, Loch Sheldrake, NY

Public Hearing on Farm Worker Fair Labor Practice Act Senate Bill 2837, SUNY Sullivan, Loch Sheldrake, NY

My name is Paul Baker. I grew up in Niagara County on a fruit and vegetable farm. I was the fifth generation to work on this farm. My Son Brett would follow me and be the last, sixth generation.  I have always lived with “farm workers.”  My father worked for over 25 years with the same migrant family from Florida. In the winter they harvested citrus in the Ocala area of Florida. When the citrus was harvested they traveled to ... more
Hearing at Morrisville SUNY on Farm Labor

Hearing at Morrisville SUNY on Farm Labor

Thank you for the opportunity to present some objective observations from my position as the Executive Director of NYS Horticultural Society during the last ten years. For 40 years earlier I was the owner operator of Baker Farms in Niagara County. This was a fruit and vegetable fresh operation. My observations then come from two different perspectives. I have real world farm “boots on the ground” and organizational experiences. I applaud the efforts to have multiple hearings so that every ... more
Hearing on Senate Bill 2837 Suffolk County Legislature April 26, 2019

Hearing on Senate Bill 2837 Suffolk County Legislature April 26, 2019

Mindset of Agriculture Today While we Await the Outcome of Senate 2837 I thought it might help to hear what is on the minds of Agriculture in New York today. As the Director of 3 farm boards, I receive, on a daily basis, calls from farms asking me to project the outcome of this legislation. Nature does not allow these farms to set everything on the back burner and await the final outcome. They must make real world decisions today ... more
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