"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ag Budget Debate

The Governor has proposed elminating funding for various agricultural programs that were include in the SFY 2008-09 budget. Below is a partial list of the items from last year's budget.

To point out a few of importance to Northern New York:
  • $1.8 million for marketing New York State wines. 
  • $200,00 for northern New York agricultural development at Cornell.
  • $150,000 for the Maple Syrup Association. 
  • $750,000 for the New York State Apple Growers Association. 
This is just to highlight a few items important to Northern New York agriculture.

Today, Farm Bureau tesified before the Senate advocating for these programs and their importance to upstate. Senator Young, former Ag chair, questioned Agriculture Commissioner Hooker about the wisdom behind "eliminating" (not just reducing) the funding for programs that have experienced growth as well as strength to compete against other states.

(2008-09 budget of funding items restored by legislature)
The new minted Agriculture Chairman Darrel Aubertine was silent!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, PIV, I'm the most "cutting" poster around here. But I don't think we should be too quick to criticize Mr Aubertine for not speaking out at this point. Maybe he wants to look at the numbers, see how the money is being spent, maybe even see if it can be better spent. At this point it is just a proposal. My problem with all this is we are avoiding the big fat sacred cows, like SCHOOLS, and now proposing to cut everything else. We haven't seriously even looking at cuts in education, and that's where all the money is spent. This nickel and dime stuff won't really help us. Unless they have no intent to actually make any cuts at all. It could be a big lie. That has always been the case in the past. All words, no cuts, anywhere.

Dan Francis said...

The marketing of these programs, in good economic times is good ... just like FDRLO markets Fort Drum in good times with lots of County money ... it can be good, not in these serious times.

We can still push those programs but maybe with fewer Ads and stuff?

Anonymous said...

When times are tough, that is not when you cut your advertising and marketing budget.

ANYONE can sell when times are good: if you want to increase sales
(thus profits) you need to MARKET your way out of a lagging economy.

Marketing 101.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, maybe. But marketing is something you teach to people who believe in marketing. I got my doubts. I remember when I worked at "a" mall. We were losing our shirts, but the marketing people bubbled away, saying it was part of our "marketing" image. BS if yo ask me. If you have something to market that is so wonderful, use your own money.

Anonymous said...

More importantly, Aubertine did speak out today. He asked several questions of Comish Hooker and Comish Grannis. The hearing lasted over 4 hours, for God's sake. You clearly did not listen to it.

Anonymous said...

Get your facts straight. For the first two hours, Darrel listened to testimony and asked questions, and Sen. Young was no where to be found. Then she strolls in and asked the same questions everyone had asked five times. It was embarrassing for her.

Anonymous said...

Why should anyone be surprised. This is the same Darrel who spoke out for 8 minutes in the 2008 Senate, and only then to offer his "condolences" to the Hammond girls basketball champs!

He's like a deer in the headlights, this guy... and that's embarassing to us!

An Uncommon Thing said...

I have to spend MY money for any "marketing Campaign" I run. PIV- this kind of attitude- that we DESERVE government money for every little thing that anybody wants to do....that's the problem with the state, the country, and most of all, the Republican Party. We're just Democrat light.

If the farmers want advertising- PAY FOR IT! Just like everybody else. What a bunch of horsesh*t.

Yeah- we'll all probably stop eating if they don't advertise apples. Oh my!

Patterson is so far to the right of Pataki, Bruno, Skelos, and Tedisco that it's truly a sad time to be a Republican.

Anonymous said...

That "uncommon thing" guy said some good stuff. I agree with a lot of it. Democrat lite, that's a good point.

You should keep contributing. You've been deemed the best contributer of Thursday, 1/15/09, by a panel of experts.

John Quincy said...

I haertily diasgree that An Uncommon Thing is a good contributor. I would say he's a terriffic ASS and doesn't know a damn thing about farming or agriculture. Farmers' are quite engrossed with taking care of the day to day operations of tilling the land, planting crops, caring for their animals, and doing regular business activities that marketing has become something that is outsourced. That is why we have Dairylea, Dairy Farmer's of America and so forth. However, those large conglomerates make a killing off from our product and allow us peanuts compared to the supermarket price for goods and attribute it to the "whim of the market" why we receive a low milk, cheese or butter price. As for the wine and maple industries: wine making is a very competitive business and difficult to start like any other small business; maple syrup has an extremely short season therefore benefits greatly from the increased publicity during the season to inform people of what sugaring is, what the products are, and how it has been done over there years. A lot of farmer's do pay for their own marketing plans. I suppose if Mr. Uncommon is so down on farming then he should have a fit about the auto industry bailout or any other kind of government subsidy. Agriculture is the only industry that still has a comparative advantage in this state compared to industry and manufacturing. NYS has terrific soil types and vast tracts of land that is prime for farming. We may lose factories, but you won't lose the land that will feed millions.

An Uncommon Thing said...

John Quincy proves my point- there are herds of sacred cows out there, ready to cry the minute they have to pay their own way. If I object to free advertising for the Ag industry I must be pro-bailout? First of all, what does the bailout have to do with the NYS Ag industry? Nothing.

But that's how it works in the modern era. Like little children we cry for support of our pet projects , whining all the while that our "sibling" got it, so we should too. John Quincy thinks that the bailout and Ag advertising are linked. The only link is that BOTH are ridiculous. But claiming that free advertising for the Ag indutry rises to the same level as saving the American banking system is a bit much.

JQ also thinks that "Farmers' are quite engrossed with taking care of the day to day operations of tilling the land, planting crops, caring for their animals, and doing regular business activities that marketing has become something that is outsourced".

That's nice, but one could make the argument that everyone works hard at their chosen profession. The outsourcing of advertising is fine- outsourcing of the bills is something else.

Every business that sells a product or service would benefit from free advertising and the extra time that would be saved by "outsourcing advertising." Farmers are not special in that regard.

My objection is not specific to agricultural spending. I object to ALL of the programs that the state dreams up. From the "Seaway Trail" (biggest North Country boondoggle waste-of-money ever!) to the "female condom awareness program" in NYC.

I don't have a problem with farmers. I also think that milk prices should be north of $20 for the 100#. But advertising is not the answer to that problem.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing world we live in. The Uncommon Thing goes from the best thing there is to an ASS in less than 24 hours.

Listen, I think the man had a lot of good thoughts. And I think the Republicans being referred to as Democrat lite was just perfect. We do need to get away from government involvement in all things, just like Uncommon said. I don't know where this guy stands on the "party my party above all my party" mindset, but to me he shows good thinkin.

Live Blogging