WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D- NY) highlighted several priorities included in the framework for the new farm bill. 

Lawmakers must develop a new farm bill every five years, and this year, it’s time for a new one. A first draft of the bill was released last week, and Sen. Gillibrand says there are several “wins” for her state in it. 

“The Farm Bill is a tremendously important piece of legislation that directly impacts hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers,” said Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry 

During a virtual press call, Gillibrand touted many of her priorities she says are included in the farm bill framework. Among them include, rural economic growth, investments to address food insecurity and food deserts, expanded access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and additional support for dairy and specialty crop farmers. 

“New York is home to more than 30,000 farms. Our state is the largest producer of yogurt and cottage cheese in the nation. We are also among the top producers of milk, apples and grapes,” said Gillibrand. “Dairy and specialty crop farming is enormously important to our state's economy. I'm happy that the framework includes increased funding for the specialty crop block grant program and provisions that would help improve the safety net for our nation's dairy farms,” she added. 

In addition to strengthening the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, Gillibrand said the framework strengthens the Dairy Margin Coverage Program, which protects farmers from losses when feed and milk prices fluctuate. 

Gillibrand said the farm bill framework would also make more military families eligible for SNAP by excluding basic allowance for housing from income calculations used to determine snap eligibility. 

Gillibrand hopes the farm bill will be finalized by late summer.